2021, much like 2020, was eventful to say the least.

The global health pandemic continued to dominate the news agenda, with new variants bringing global economies to a screeching halt.

Domestically, COVID-19 forced many parts of Australia into lockdown – which lasted for months on end.

Through it all however, CommBank delivered much needed support and critical services to customers and the communities it serves.

In October, the bank announced it had partnered with NSW Health to provide increased translation support for Sydney Local Health District’s COVID-19 support line.

More than 300 CBA volunteers worked alongside Sydney Local Health District staff to translate COVID-19 related phone enquiries in up to 43 languages.

Speaking about the partnership at the time, Commonwealth Bank Group Executive, Human Resources, Sian Lewis, said: “As one of the largest employers in Australia, our people are committed to supporting the community when they need it most, especially in the middle of a pandemic.

“We are proud to have an incredibly diverse workforce with 45,000 employees across the country, many of whom are proficient in multiple languages and dialects.

“As a bank and essential service, we will continue to do what we can to help our people and customers keep the community safe.”

In addition to CBA staff volunteering their time to assist with COVID-19 related health enquiries, the bank also made a $500,000 donation to lifeline, and awarded $3 million to different community organisations across Australia as part of the CBA Staff 2021 Community Grants program.

In total, 300 community organisations from across the country each received a $10,000 donation from CBA employees as part of the Grants program. Community organisations included the Australian Music Industry’s charity, Support Act; the Black Dog Institute; Share the Dignity; and Frontline Yoga – Australia’s first and only free national yoga program dedicated to first responders, emergency services and military veterans.

Speaking about the Grants program back in November, Commonwealth Bank’s Head of Community Investment, Nathan Barker said: “As one of Australia’s largest employers, we welcome opportunities for our people to contribute to the community. The CommBank Staff Foundation is committed to driving positive change in the community by supporting the causes CBA staff are most passionate about.

“Our vast staff network has diverse areas of interest and the program enables us to play a role in supporting the community across a wide range of issues. We have a long history of employee giving through the program and are proud to continue providing this assistance to local charities and community groups, especially during these challenging times.”

In addition to community support, the bank took the opportunity to provide critical assistance and services to customers – especially those impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic.

Throughout FY22, 1,674 loan deferrals were provided; while emergency assistance was provided to 775 small business customers affected by COVID and natural disasters.

Further, the bank issued fee waivers and refunds on merchant terminals, saving small business customers more than $26 million in fees. In addition, the bank helped customers save in excess of $10 million on everyday purchases via the CommBank Rewards cashback program.

CBA Executive General Manager, Everyday Banking, Kate Crous said the CommBank Rewards program was helping to put money back in the pockets of everyday Australians right when they need it most.

“COVID is causing a lot of uncertainty for many people, so every extra dollar helps. Four in every five people tell us that they are always on the lookout for discounts and rewards, so finding that additional way to save is really attractive to many Aussies right now,” she said.

Looking ahead, the bank remains committed to making a positive contribution – wherever possible – to its customers, community and people.

To see more of the support CommBank provided to customers and Australian communities over the past 12 months, watch our 2021 video recap.