- Material Pillars
- GRI & Assurance
Material Pillars - Responsible products and services - Treating our clients fairly
Sanlam Sustainability Report 2011
Treating our clients fairly
Sanlam strives to be client centric and to treat our customers fairly, to understand our clients and their financial services needs and to provide innovative, tailored solutions to fulfil those needs. We care about our nation's financial freedom, link our clients' successes to our own and will continue to be accountable for our actions with the aim of building long-term relationships that improve peoples' lives.
- Hennie de Villiers, Chief Executive: Sanlam Individual Life & Segments Solutions
Fair principles around dealings with customers as a key stakeholder group are critical to the sustainability of the organisation. Our approach to clients is largely aligned to the expected requirements of the FSB's forthcoming "Treating Customers Fairly" (TCF) legislation.
The six pillars of TCF are:
- To make TCF central to corporate culture;
- Products and services must meet the needs of consumer groups and be targeted accordingly;
- Consumers must be provided with clear information before, during and after the point-of-sale;
- Customers must be given suitable advice that takes their circumstances into account;
- Products and services must meet customer expectations; and
- Consumers must be reasonably able to change products, switch providers, submit claims or make complaints.
We support TCF and will continuously strive to meet the requirements.
Further detail is provided below.
Preparing for "Treating Customers Fairly" (TCF)
The Financial Services Board's proposed TCF legislation is a new approach to regulation of market conduct in the financial services industry, based on outcomes rather than rules and regulations. The goal is to place client needs at the forefront of each stage in a product's life cycle.
– Johan Redelinghuis, Head: Investment Product Development
Until the legislation comes into effect, the focus is on preparation and awareness. Sanlam RSA will measure progress on the TCF principles applicable from 2014 onwards. The Group has a steering committee in place to analyse the requirements of this regulation, which will be measured using KPIs for the Group as a whole and for each separate cluster. The process is currently underway.
Each Cluster of Sanlam will define an Ombudsman most applicable to the business and each will measure Ombudsman complaints received relative to targets agreed with Sanlam RSA. SIM and SPF will report on compliance with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act. SIM will measure client retention rates against targets, providing an indication of client satisfaction, while SPF will measure percentage of lapses and surrenders relative to prior years and targets.
- Lize Lambrechts, Chief Executive: Sanlam Personal Finance
A challenge will be around managing clients who we do not engage with directly. On the retail side, we are often a step away from the market, relying on intermediaries to engage directly with clients. This will require engagement and training intermediaries to ensure requirements are met.
Understanding client needs
The context within which we operate is changing. Our growth strategy requires that we understand the needs of a more diverse client base. This is due to our internationalisation focus but also due to shifts in the segments of markets in which we currently operate. There is a growing consumer base despite economic conditions, a growing middle class, growth in black and younger clients in all income categories and a growing gap between rich and poor. Understanding client needs in these markets is essential. This requires new and adjusted products. We conduct proactive research to identify needs that are not currently fulfilled.
Engaging our clients
We strive to improve our clients' product access and the financial security benefits they derive from our benefits. We focus on simplifying product terms and information. This is coupled with a broad focus on improving the financial literacy of people in the markets in which we operate. Providing service excellence and good investment performance increases client satisfaction resulting in greater persistency and retention.
We have continued to highlight the importance of personal touches. Making contact is an important part of the engagement. We have a differentiated service to provide more targeted and therefore relevant service information. Our client contact centres facilitate several ways to make contact. Efforts are underway to improve contact by creating synergies with continually evolving technology. Group-wide complaints are managed through the Client Relations Unit. Cluster-specific complaints are directed to and managed at the internal complaints units of each cluster.
We have a good relationship with all Ombudsman Offices. In addition, Sanlam clients also have access to an internal arbitrator. This year we tried to strengthen processes and also set up a complaints forum. This two-monthly forum aims to improve implementation of the complaints process, get feedback from the ombudsmen and look at trends in different environments.
- Hennie De Villiers, Chief Executive: Sanlam Individual Life & Segments Solutions
Sanlam focuses on measuring the client service, complaints and claims experience as a whole, rather than through a narrow measure of client satisfaction. An assessment of the quality of service, relationship, communication and overall satisfaction yields our "Voice of the Customer" (VoC) score. Overall, our VoC scores did not change significantly from 2010: there was a slight increase in the volume of reported "problems", and slightly fewer reported "delights". VoC from a client perspective is down slightly but from an intermediary perspective there has been a great improvement.
Sanlam RSA's client success is evident in our persistence figures and complaints data, which are both among the best in the industry. Good performance is also evident in the various client satisfaction survey results from throughout the group and the number of awards won this year. The Sanlam Personal Finance Client Contact Centre was awarded the best call centre, the best processing centre, and the best CSI initiative in the call centre industry for 2011.
Client education initiatives
Informed customers make better financial decisions. Considering the complexity and rapidly changing nature of the financial industry, better informed individuals are more likely to become Sanlam's clients. Sanlam wants every client to feel confident in their choices about their financial future – and confident that Sanlam can help them achieve their financial goals. Sanlam has several broad-based participation initiatives related to consumer financial education.
|The DestiNations||R1,8 million||Designed for young people between the ages of 24 to 34, from middle and upper level household income groups nationwide, the aim was to assist young people to make appropriate financial decisions. Topics covered included saving tips, buying a house, buying a car, creating a perfect CV, cracking interviews, starting your own business and keeping your career on track. The programme was run May to December 2011. Our message was delivered digitally and we further used social media such as facebook, twitter, microsite and 3rd party adverts. The initiative reached 55 000 visitors and received 1 200 online registrations.|
|Sanlam Liquid Newsletter||R1400 per quarterly newsletter||The Sanlam Liquid Newsletter is an ongoing engagement with our existing client in the middle to upper level segment, nationwide. Our message is delivered to our clients through an email newsletter. The campaign has added value to the relationships we have with our clients by offering them useful financial tips and information. The topics covered include the Consumer Protection Act, planning for children`s futures, tips on reducing bank fees, dealing with debt, budgeting tips and estate planning. The service is run on a quarterly basis and the newsletter has reached 10 643 consumers.|
|Sanlam Takalani Club||R 2,4 million||This provincial programme, run in Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal and Western Cape, educates parents about saving for their children's education. The initiative started in November 2011 and is ongoing. Children are used as the channel of information to their parents. We send: brochures, letters, birthday cards, booklets and use Takalani Muppets to educate the children. The initiative has reached 30 000 consumers in the entry to middle level segment (personal income between R5,001 and R10,100 a month or household income between R10,002 and R20,200 a month).|
|Fiduciary Institute of South Africa (FISA) Wills Education Campaign||Unknown||The campaign was run nationwide from September 2011 to October 2011, targeting upper level urban communities where media articles and case studies are predominately read. Clients were reached through newspapers, magazines and through a free will drafting service (offered by Glacier Feduciary 26th September 2011 and 6th October 2011 ). Twenty five free wills were drafted during this period.|
|Sanlam Stories of Success||R2.7 million||The initiative targeted all existing policy holders from entry level to upper level segments. Clients shared their success stories before an audience of other clients and prospective clients. The initiative was rolled out from 3 October to 3 December 2011.|
Sanlam has several workshop based initiatives that took place in industrial theatres and conferences.
|Worksite Marketing: Sanlam Financial Wellness||R400 000||Pilot workshops took place in Gauteng (at Vanderbijlpark, Johannesburg) from the beginning of November to December 2011. Next year we plan to run a similar campaign in the whole country. Interventions were conducted at workplaces to assist employees with financial education, covering topics such as creating a monthly budget, saving for retirement, wills and taxes, etc. All employees, in both the public and private sectors, were targeted.|
|Retirement Expo||R350 000||Research indicates that 75% of retired people in SA experience a drop in the standard of living once retired. In October 2011 (28th to 30th) Glacier and Sanlam ran this unique initiative to educate South Africans on how to plan for retirement using a properly constructed estate plan. We held workshops to illustrate why comprehensive estate planning is essential for retirement planning. These workshops were conducted in Gauteng and targeted middle to upper level retired individuals and those that are planning to retire. We used a service provider (Thebe special projects) to conduct the initiative. We addressed our audience by setting up conferences and events. Our message was sent using brochures and presentations.|
|Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Project at schools||R1.1 million||In April 2011 Sanlam launched this initiative in partnership with Operation HOPE. The initiative targets school children in Grades 10, 11 and 12 and we teach them about the basics of banking, the power of credit, budgeting, investment and entrepreneurship. We use accredited volunteers at the schools to deliver our message. Our volunteers use workbooks, brochures, flyers and modules as a teaching aid. This initiative targets 1000 learners but has reached 862. We plan to continue with this campaign for the next 3 years.|
Sanlam Business Market
Sanlam has a strategic responsibility to advance our clients' financial knowledge. Sanlam Business Market has a focus on small to medium enterprises (SMEs). The more someone understands his or her personal financial situation as well as the financial planning needs of their business, the more likely he or she will be able to manage it in a pro-active manner.
Sanlam offers SMEs a free Cobalt Business Fitness Analysis followed by a Cobalt Business Fitness Report based on the high-level information we gather on the business, its strategy and financial planning risks. An independent business adviser performs the debrief interview where the need priorities are discussed, followed by a tailor-made implementation strategy. This is a useful service for SMEs looking to improve their business, and allows us to highlight areas in which a Sanlam product/ solution could be beneficial for the SME. During 2011 Sanlam spent R 82 250.00 on this offering.
We also launched a free e-book called The Business Plan Book in 2010. Available electronically, over 25 000 copies have been downloaded to date, without any supporting marketing efforts. We are in the process of translating the book into Zulu to be relevant to a larger audience of start-up entrepreneurs and business owners in South Africa.
We also launched another e-book, called the Business Turnaround Book in May of 2011.
In addition, we circulate e-articles to 28 000 subscribers on an almost weekly basis. The context of these articles focuses on relevant financial and business topics.
Sanlam Professional Market Financial Literacy Campaign
A few years ago, Sanlam began researching the financial needs of student professionals in order to develop a relevant product.
This revealed a need for financial literacy as students felt their education had not prepared them to manage the financial risk associated with starting a career. In 2009, Sanlam launched its Financial Literacy Campaign for final-year students from various professional faculties. Students attend a presentation by a well-known Sanlam-sponsored speaker who explores the key risks, pitfalls and financial choices that a young professional typically faces. Attendees are given guidelines on managing such issues and we have developed a 'life events planner' booklet as well as a more comprehensive version of the lecture in DVD format. These initiatives will strengthen the Sanlam brand in the long term. The efficacy of this project requires the establishment and maintenance of strong relationships with the key professional universities. Johan van Zyl supports the initiative by meeting with the Vice Chancellors of the universities and expressing Sanlam's intent to support them through focused interventions.
Since its inception three years ago, the project has reached approximately 4 000 students on 11 campuses. In 2011 we invested R150 000 in the project. This included printing the 'life events planner' booklet. The project was funded by the Sanlam Foundation. The Foundation will continue to fund the initiative for the next two years at a cost of R 150 000 per annum.
Sanlam complaints management processes
We aim to resolve all complaints on entry. Unresolved complaints are taken to a dedicated client relations consultant (also the point of entry for all complaints from the external Ombudsman). The Client Relations Unit has access to the Client Resolution Committee that makes decisions regarding more serious or challenging complaints. If still unresolved through these channels, complaints are escalated to the Sanlam Arbitrator. If not satisfied with the Sanlam Arbitrator's decision, clients can escalate complaints to the relevant external ombudsman or pursue other legal means. In all instances complaints are managed to assure clients of Sanlam's concern for fair treatment, but also to improve the way we do business. Where ordered to pay compensation, determinations are thoroughly investigated and relevant remedial actions are taken to prevent recurring complaints. When required, processes are changed or further training provided. In some instance disciplinary action will be taken.
Although specific to SPF, this process is relevant to the group as a whole. Each business cluster has a complaints unit that feeds customer specific complaints to the Client Contact Centre. The internal complaints unit then researches the issues within the relevant business units and reverts directly to the complainant. SPF and SEM each have their own Client Relations unit that handles third party complaints.
In 2011, most complaints raised by clients fell into the following areas:
Total and average monthly complaints referred to Ombudsmen: 2007 - 2011 (Sanlam Professional Finance including SDM SA6 )
|Sanlam Arbitrator||Ombudsman for Long Term Insurance||Pension Funds Adjudicator||FAIS Ombud|
|%2011 / 2010||140%||92%||57%||90%|
The increase in complaints to the Sanlam Arbitrator is due to the client centricity project that was finalised in 2010. During the project a big effort was put into aligning internal complaints processes and creating awareness for the internal complaints escalation processes to the Sanlam Arbitrator. His jurisdiction was also extended to all the other product lines in Sanlam and not only for policy complaints. The increase includes many of these "other product line complaints". This increase, coupled with the decrease in complaints referred to the Ombudsman, shows that more complaints are being effectively managed internally, rather than being referred to the external Ombudsman.
The "complaint interventions" are recorded in SPF to ensure that we note all the interactions between a client and Sanlam and possible different complaint resolution mechanisms. It may therefore be that the same complaint was counted more than once. This practice is however, the same as previous years.
The Sanlam national "Start Something" campaign
Sanlam created 'National Start Something Day' to help motivate South-Africans to do the things they've always wanted to do; because Sanlam believes the sooner you start investing in something, the sooner you'll get to see the rewards and the greater they will be.
'National Start Something Day' aims to inspire everyday people to take up a new hobby, learn a new language or even set up a business venture. Its aim is to cultivate a community of go-getters that plan ahead and make dreams realities instead of waiting for things to happen – an attitude that more often than not ends with too little, too late: be it skill, opportunities or savings.
The campaign began in May and ran until September, with 2 September being declared National Start Something Day. Various national channels were utilised, ranging from radio, printed media, digital networks, outdoor advertising and public relations to the hosting of specific events with well-known personalities as speakers, to communicate the message.
The day was a huge success and experienced positively by those engaged. In addition to showcasing how Sanlam cares about people the campaign also showcased how Sanlam can assist people with financial planning and support their dreams. An assessment of the effectiveness of the day in raising awareness of the Sanlam brand, showed that more people became aware of Sanlam and others acquired a more positive perception of the company.