Speaking up

We place great importance on fostering a culture that encourages employees and others that partner with the Commonwealth Bank Group (the Group) to speak up about issues or conduct that concerns them. This could be anything from serious misconduct to noticing something which just doesn’t feel quite right. 

The Board and senior management encourage everyone who works with the Group to speak up and report any conduct they believe to be inappropriate. We provide trusted avenues to go to for those who want to raise concerns, whilst also providing the appropriate support. This could be as simple as one of our employees having an informal discussion with their manager, through to using the formal channels we have set up to make speaking up simpler.

Our dedicated SpeakUP Hotline is one of those formal channels. This service is available to any director, manager, employee (current and former), contractor, consultant, supplier, service provider, secondee, broker or auditor of the Group to raise a concern. We encourage certain third parties, such as suppliers or service providers, to report concerns they may see in their interactions with the Group and, by the same token, encourage reporting the conduct of these third parties.

Identifying potential problems and risks allows the Group to continue to improve the way it does business and provide the best possible service to our customers.

Group Whistleblower Policy

Sometimes individuals speaking up may be concerned about being identified, or any potential repercussions that may come from reporting conduct. This is why we have a comprehensive Group Whistleblower Policy designed to encourage and support individuals to report issues, knowing that it is safe to do so and that they will receive support. Eligible persons can elect to be treated as a protected person, meaning that their concerns will be managed through the processes outlined in the Group Whistleblower Policy.

Our Group Whistleblower Policy defines what type of conduct can be reported. This includes actions which are:

  • Dishonest
  • Fraudulent
  • Corrupt
  • Illegal
  • In breach of legislation
  • In serious breach of internal policy
  • Unethical
  • Improper
  • Bullying and harassment
  • Unsafe work practices
  • Any other conduct which may cause financial or non-financial loss to the Group or be otherwise detrimental to the interests of the Group and its customers, including environmentally unsound practices.

The Group has a Whistleblower Protection Officer, whose role is to oversee the protection and wellbeing of whistleblowers. The Group also has a Misconduct Governance Committee, which includes senior executives who report to the CEO, to oversee the effectiveness of the whistleblower program. Individuals are also free to make a disclosure directly to a regulator at any time.

The Group Whistleblower Policy has been approved by both the Executive Leadership Team and the Board and aligns to the Australian Bankers’ Association’s “Guiding Principles – Improving Protections for Whistleblowers”, in addition to other relevant requirements. The Guiding Principles are part of the ABA’s Better Banking program, and ensures that all banks’ whistleblower policies meet the highest standard.

How do individuals get in touch?

There are a number of ways our people and others associated with the Group can report any concerns about conduct they believe doesn’t feel right. These include:

  • Our people having a conversation with their Manager
  • Speaking with a senior leader at General Manager level or above if they wish to report concerns under the Group Whistleblower Policy
  • Contacting the Group’s SpeakUP Hotline if they are uncomfortable or not able to go through internal channels, would like to report anonymously, or make a report under the Group Whistleblower Policy

Read a summary of the Group Whistleblower Policy