The New Zealand Bankers’ Association and FinCap have announced a new partnership, with the banking industry contributing $5 million over five years to support the financial wellbeing of all New Zealanders.
The collaboration agreement will provide funding for initiatives that will directly benefit the 200 services FinCap supports who provide financial advice to tens of thousands of New Zealanders a year. This partnership between the banking industry and building financial capability sector is the first of its kind in New Zealand.
“Banks are acutely aware of the importance of building financial capability,” says New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Roger Beaumont. “Providing funding that will provide support and skills to financial mentors on the ground is the right thing to do. Through working closely with FinCap we think we can make the $5 million go a long way.”
FinCap chair Susan Kosmala says the organisation holds a unique position in the building financial capability sector as a collective voice for services across Aotearoa New Zealand. “This partnership will mean we can do even more toward achieving our vision so people, whānau and communities can live free of hardship. The funding has been negotiated independently of our core work so we can continue in our position as an advocate for the sector and the New Zealanders who rely on it – that includes holding lenders to account.
“It will strengthen our relationship with the banking industry by providing them with valuable insights into the financial hardships people are facing and what their role can be in addressing these issues for their customers and their communities.”
Beaumont says the timing will help those affected by the Covid-19 economic downturn. “New Zealand has done incredibly well to get through 2020 in relatively good shape, but the downturn has hit certain parts of the community much harder than others. Banks have supported affected households and businesses through the hard months of 2020 and this partnership shows we want to help in other ways too.”
Funding under the partnership will be project-based, meaning that FinCap and NZBA can allocate resource to new issues as they crop up. The work is well on its way with projects in the first year including workforce development, Māori and Pasifika partnerships, marketing of agency services, cooperation between banks and budgeting agencies, and data and insights