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Media Release

Commonwealth Bank establishes new Customer Advocate function to strengthen customer service

CBA establishes Customer Advocate function

A new Customer Advocate function will strengthen accountability for fair customer outcomes and offer a more customer-oriented perspective on how the bank does business.

Commonwealth Bank has today announced it is strengthening accountability for fair customer outcomes and offering a more customer-oriented perspective on how the bank does business, through the establishment of a new Customer Advocate function.

Heading this function will be Dr Brendan French, Executive General Manager Customer Advocacy and Remediation. The Customer Advocate function will focus on three primary areas:

  • Advocacy: Driving for fair customer outcomes and complaint resolutions.
  • Prevention:  Proactively looking for areas where there is the potential for customer concerns to arise and taking action.
  • Remediation: When things go wrong, ensuring that we remediate affected customers in a quality, consistent and timely way.

This forms part of Commonwealth Bank’s commitment to the banking industry initiatives package announced by the Australian Bankers’ Association in April. These initiatives are designed to make banking easier and more transparent for customers, including a commitment from all banks to appoint a customer advocate.

Over time, the work of the Customer Advocate and other Commonwealth Bank customer service teams will improve products, processes, systems and decision making that will help deliver better and consistently fair customer outcomes.

The Customer Advocate function will report to the Group Executive Marketing and Strategy, Vittoria Shortt, and will provide oversight and coordination for how Commonwealth Bank is serving its customers across the Group. This announcement builds on the work underway since November to examine and strengthen the Group’s customer advocacy and remediation process.

Ms Shortt said that the Customer Advocate function, together with the Group’s other customer support functions, will help every customer interaction with Commonwealth Bank be a fair one.

“We know that many of the most important decisions our customers can make are made in partnership with us – buying a house, insuring their lives and protecting their family – and we take that responsibility seriously,” Ms Shortt said.

“Our customers are at the centre of everything we do. This function will ensure we have an even stronger focus on the entire customer experience. It will improve accountability in decision making and ensure that the balance between customer outcomes and business outcomes is fair.

“The function will be centralised and therefore separate from the day-to-day running of the Group’s business units, ensuring consistency in our approach to how we serve and help customers.

“Not only will we work internally to improve customers’ experiences, we will also work with government, industry and customer groups to ensure what we do is best practice,” Ms Shortt said.

Commonwealth Bank customers should continue to contact the normal customer channels in the first instance for help or assistance or to raise complaints.


Customer Service Contact details:

  • For general banking enquiries, 13 2221, between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday. When calling from outside Australia, dial your international access code, then +61 13 2221
  • Business banking enquiries General enquiries 13 1998
  • CommInsure customers can call 13 24 23