Our community and the environment

Our community investment strategy focuses on addressing the major social issues that affect the financial services industry, in particular financial literacy and inclusion. We also provide opportunities for our people to support causes that matter to them.

financial literacy

Improving financial knowledge, skills and confidence in our community is a core social responsibility for ANZ, and essential to the long term success of our business. Developments in the financial service industry over the past 20 years have given greater choice and flexibility to most consumers, but not everyone in our community has benefited. Poor financial literacy and the inability to access mainstream financial services can lead to low levels of savings and unsustainable personal debt. The impact of this on individuals can be profound.

ANZ has committed to work with researchers, community groups and government bodies to find long-term solutions to the problems of financial literacy, financial exclusion and financial difficulty. The insights that we have gained have led to innovative programs to help people, and often the most vulnerable in our communities, improve their financial capability.

We pioneered MoneyMinded, Australia's most comprehensive adult financial education program, to help people, particularly those on low-incomes, build their financial skills, knowledge and confidence. We set and achieved a target to provide MoneyMinded facilitator training to 500 financial counsellors and community educators to reach 15,000 people in 2006.

Saver Plus is a financial literacy and matched savings program developed in 2002 with The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) to help families on low incomes set and achieve a savings goal, and establish a long-term savings habit. This is achieved through providing financial education; offering personal coaching support; and matching every dollar saved with an additional dollar (up to $1000 of matched funds). There is strong evidence the program is achieving its core objective of helping participants to establish a ‘savings habit'. An evaluation by RMIT university revealed that 12 months after completing Saver Plus 71% of participants in the orginal program are still saving.

MoneyBusiness aims to build the money management skills and confidence of Indigenous Australians and their families, and establish a strong savings culture in Indigenous communities. It is a partnership with the Federal Government's Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA). We are piloting MoneyBusiness in remote communities in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Eighteen local Indigenous people have so far been employed and trained as Money Business workers who deliver the program.

Case study:

Saver Plus - Real change

Donna Jackson joined the Saver Plus program conducted by The Benevolent Society in Sydney. She had separated from her husband, and with two boys to raise she was constantly worried about making ends meet.

The Saver Plus workshops "turned the lights on" for Donna. She gave up smoking to save money, found new ways to pay off debt and earn a regular income. By the end of the program, Donna had her own cleaning business and even does her own record-keeping.

"For the first time in years I didn't feel overwhelmed by financial stress. We set a savings goal to get a computer for my son. With the matched funds from ANZ it was no time before Owen was working on his own computer," she said.

Like Donna, many participants say the boost in confidence and self-esteem that came with getting control of their fi nances and achieving their savings goals was the most rewarding aspect of the program.

Saver Plus now runs in 18 communities around Australia in partnership with BSL , Berry Street Victoria, The Smith Family, The Benevolent Society and the Victorian Government.