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Commonwealth Bank has today launched its new Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), introduced the bank’s new Indigenous Leadership Team and marked 20 years of its school-based traineeship program for Indigenous students.

“Our purpose at the Commonwealth Bank is to build a brighter future for all and through our Reconciliation Action Plan we seek to deliver on this commitment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples every day,” said Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn.

The RAP, which outlines the bank’s reconciliation priorities for the next three years, saw the bank retain Elevate status from Reconciliation Australia. Elevate is the highest level of endorsement within the RAP program, recognising the leadership role played in driving reconciliation both within CBA and nationally.

The FY23-25 RAP sets out an ambitious plan that seeks to have demonstrable impact on four key issues:

  • Removing barriers to accessing appropriate financial products and services
  • Building community trust in our institution and embedding Indigenous rights considerations in our business
  • Removing barriers to employment within the bank and economic participation for First Nations businesses
  • Understanding the unique nature of financial abuse in the First Nations context and working with community to develop ways to identify and address it

“As the nation begins an important public discussion about constitutional recognition and an Indigenous Voice to Parliament, Commonwealth Bank is supportive of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Taking the advice of our Indigenous Advisory Council, we are supporting conversations across the bank to understand what is proposed and how it might contribute to better outcomes for First Nations peoples,” Mr Comyn said.

Commonwealth Bank has introduced an Indigenous Leadership Team, whose voices and perspectives will help inform the bank’s approaches and decisions.

In addition to the bank’s Indigenous Advisory Council, the ILT is a diverse group of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders from across the bank who are supporting reconciliation priorities, as well as elected members of the Bank’s Indigenous Employee Network.

“The ILT is underpinned by strong cultural concepts of leadership and together we seek to amplify the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing and being, the purpose of which is to support interactions across CommBank in Indigenous-focused business and projects. I am able to bring the perspectives and insights from the ILT to the Indigenous Advisory Council, which further strengthens our voice in decision-making” said Mitchell Heritage, member of the ILT and employee representative on the Group’s Indigenous Advisory Council. Mr Heritage is a Kuku-Yalanji/Goorimpul man and a senior product owner in Retail Banking Services.

Sean Gordon, Chair of CommBank’s Indigenous Advisory Council (IAC), recognised the efforts of the Bank to continually improve how it engages with First Nations employees, customers and communities, noting that this will ultimately lead to improved reconciliation outcomes.

“This is an ambitious plan and one that I am proud to oversee in my role as Chair of the CommBank IAC. I look forward to working with the Indigenous Advisory Council, Indigenous Leadership Team and teams across the bank to continue to build a brighter future for First Nations peoples” said Mr Gordon.

It was also announced that First Nations artist Leona McGrath’s artwork for CommBank, which was unveiled for NAIDOC Week in 2021, will be made available as a background in the CommBank app in support of reconciliation. The CommBank app has close to 7 million active customers.1

CommBank began its reconciliation journey in 2002 with the introduction of the school-based traineeship program which commenced in the Retail Bank. The bank launched its first RAP in 2008. The FY23-25 plan is the bank’s seventh RAP and its third to achieve Elevate status, which was received for the first time in 2016.

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1CBA 2022 Annual Report