Hundreds of customers took part in Commonwealth Bank’s first ever virtual customer forum, hosted by former broadcast journalist, Helen Dalley. 

In opening the forum, Ms Dalley said while the current health pandemic meant an in-person event wasn’t possible, CEO Matt Comyn, together with the bank’s leadership team, were determined to still provide customers with the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback. 

More than 2,000 customers registered to watch the forum, and over 1,300 customer questions, comments and complaints were submitted. 

While it wasn’t possible to address every question submitted, most of the customer commentary fell into a few major themes.

In his opening comments, Mr Comyn acknowledged what a difficult year it has been for our customers and Australia more broadly. 

“From the bushfires earlier this year and then the pandemic, we have certainty worked hard to put as much support as possible in place. We want to be a leader in Australia’s economic recovery and transition over the next few years,” Mr Comyn said. 

Throughout 2020, Commonwealth Bank has sought to provide customers with a range of support measures, including: more than $700 million in new loans under the Government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme; hardship relief for small businesses; waiving of merchant terminal fees for small business customers; the introduction of Home Loan Compassionate Care; and a range of services to support those impacted by domestic and financial abuse. 


Mr Comyn went on to answer a number of pre-submitted customer questions which covered a range of topics, including his opinion on the broader economic recovery, his expectations for property prices and interest rates, as well as Commonwealth Bank’s raft of current and future support measures.

Mr Comyn said while there was still a lot of uncertainty going into 2021, he was optimistic about the future given the recent news about the new health vaccine.

Mr Comyn also said the bank was committed to supporting its customers and providing them with peace of mind wherever possible, including the recent mortgage moratorium or freeze on forced property sales the bank introduced last week.

“Many of our customers have resumed their repayments. But, we’ve also had customers where we have extended their repayment deferrals, because that has been the best option for them,” he said.

“One of the things that we observed – and we have made more than 300,000 calls across our personal and business customers – was that even for those customers who had restarted their loan repayments, they were worried about next year.

“A lot of our customers have never been in a position where they have been behind on their repayments or in financial difficulty, and as such, they are understandably worried about what might happen and whether they could lose the family home.

“We have thought about that and we have worked with the Financial Council of Australia and said: ‘why don’t we give customers the certainty?’ We won’t be commencing any foreclosures or forced sales until October 2021. We wanted to give our customers peace of mind so that they can be focused on the important things to them.”

Image Credit: Nic Long