An interesting article titled Banks to act on Family Violence by Lucille Keen has been published in the Australian Financial Review, following the release last week of the report from the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. The article discusses how the banking sector is working to ensure that victims of family violence have improved access to finances in an emergency and that bank staff will be educated to deal with them.
AGL has also developed an integrated domestic violence policy for customers and employees, in consultation with community groups and sector experts around Australia who support people experiencing domestic violence issues. The policy includes:
- Referring calls from customers raising family violence concerns to a specialist team trained in supporting vulnerable customers and having sensitive conversations.
- Taking extra steps to protect account privacy, such as adding passwords.
- Establishing payment plans, moratoriums or, where appropriate, applying debt relief.
- Connecting customers with additional support services.
- Establishing a hotline for family violence workers who may be supporting our customers, so they can dial directly through to our specialist team.
Further details about the policy can be found here. AGL Managing Director & CEO, Andy Vesey has previously highlighted that "As an essential service provider with more than 3.7 million customers and nearly 3,500 employees AGL must play a role in changing the way we support victims of domestic violence both at work and at home".