- Material Pillars
- GRI & Assurance
Material Pillars - Responsibility towards a prosperous society - Promoting access to financial services
Sanlam Sustainability Report 2011
Promoting access to financial services
Promoting access to financial services is significant in driving socio-economic development. It enables people in entry-level markets who are under-serviced in terms of appropriate risk, savings, investment and retirement products, to access and function in the economy. In South Africa, broadening access to financial services to these groups creates important new market opportunities to drive our growth strategy and enhance our contribution to the country's economic upliftment.
Sanlam Sky (a business of SPF cluster) focuses on improving access to financial services in entry-level markets in South Africa and internationally. It strives to provide tailored products for the previously disadvantaged in the entry-level market and lower LSM (living standards measure) groups, helping to incorporate these groups into the mainstream economy. Satisfying these clients is essential to secure their commitment to our brand as they advance to higher incomes and achieve greater personal wealth. Funeral policies remain by far the greatest area of demand in this market, but we also offer savings and short-term insurance products at this level.
Expanding shareholding to micro- and small businesses also gives the Group access to a significantly expanded base of potential clients. The Ubuntu-Botho partnership affords significant insight into local markets and the ability to identify market opportunities that call for development of new products, which complements our client centric strategy. As a result, our access to new audiences via a broad-based consortium of organisations (including trade unions and community organisations) has seen us grow into a more sustainable entity
Communications is an essential factor in engaging and retaining clients. We have worked hard to develop robust distribution channels to reach these market segments and the Sanlam Sky's multi-distribution model increases our exposure. Within Sanlam RSA, the agency and broker models are currently the strongest performing channels. Using a one-on-one sales method, a basic needs analysis and advisory service are supplied directly to the client. Both channels focus on the government (civil servants) and commercial markets. While funeral cover is the most successful product, we also offer retirement policies, savings plans and hospital plans.
Our SPF, SEM and Sanlam UK business units rely extensively on intermediaries (advisers and brokers) to distribute products and services throughout our areas of operation. It is essential that we ensure that our employees and intermediaries have appropriate training in product knowledge and regulatory requirements, in order to provide responsible and appropriate financial advice to our clients and potential markets.
Additional information on our channels of engagement with clients and potential markets, and on our training interventions for our staff and intermediaries, is provided in our section on Responsible Products and Services.