QBE Insurance Australia has become one of the first insurers to join the Financial Inclusion Action Plan program to promote greater financial inclusion for all Australians.
The FIAPO program provides an opportunity for organisations, like QBE, to take real action to help promote financial inclusion for the over 3 million Australians who are severely or fully excluded from financial services.
The FIAP program is a partnership between Good Shepherd Microfinance, EY, the federal government and the Centre for Social Impact and has a number of organisations involved in the program like CBA, ANZ, NAB and Westpac.
The program was born from a 2015 commitment by Australia to meet the G20 Financial Inclusion Action Plan and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Thirty organisations joined the first phase of the program, which captured almost 80 per cent of the population and it has continued to grow since.
Vivek Bhatia, chief executive officer at QBE Australia Pacific, said that by the end of the year QBE would publish its own action plan to address financial exclusion.
“We are very proud to join this initiative of leading organisations that are committed to promoting greater financial inclusion. Together, we’re doing what we can to help ensure no Australian is left behind,” he said.
Mr Bhatia said the general insurer already had a range of initiatives underway designed to support vulnerable customers and communities.
“We recognise that there are millions of Australians who are living in, or on the edge of, financial vulnerability or poverty. We believe that it is incumbent on us, and other financial services providers, to help improve access to services and help build financial resilience,” he said.
Currently, QBE is already a signatory to the UN Sustainability Development Goals and the Environment Program Finance Initiative, and its Premiums4Good program allows customers to opt for part of their premium to support social impact investment bonds.
The group also has a Reconciliation Action Plan to formalise commitments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and has donated over a million dollars to various charities through its foundation.
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