Debt Stress Q & A
Q. Why is the FSU making it look like we’re pushing debt?
A. FSU is highlighting one of the major negatives members have about their jobs, the pressure to meet sales targets. The pressure that members are under needs to be highlighted to the community in order to harness public support which places pressure on the industry and government to address the issue. We are highlighting members desire to provide professional services to the community, something that is compromised by management’s persistent demand for sales volumes.
Q. What’s wrong with providing credit?
A. Extending credit to customers with the capacity to repay is a vital service that is valued by staff and customers alike. When the repayment of debt overstretches customers, and when customers are offered more credit than they need or have asked for, the line between customer service and debt pushing becomes blurred and FSU members say they feel very uncomfortable in these circumstances. The reason they do it is to keep their job, and to make sure their salary keeps pace with cost of living increases.
Q. What’s wrong with targets?
A. Absolutely nothing, as long as they are reasonable, achievable within ordinary hours, take into account local conditions and market fluctuations, and arrived at by agreement.
Q. I always meet my targets, why should I feel sorry for someone who doesn’t?
A. Without knowing the full circumstances of each individual it’s difficult to make a judgement about why colleagues aren’t meeting target. In most cases where FSU is contacted by a member, the reasons they don’t meet target are due to things outside of their control, such as the unreasonableness of the targets, rising interest rates, customer liquidity in their local area, and relationships with management.
Q. FSU is always talking about targets, what is the union doing about it?
A. FSU’s performance pay policy states the union’s goal of ensuring targets are reasonable and mutually agreed. Whenever we negotiate a new collective agreement we endeavour to include a clause that specifically deals with targets, and the need for agreement. We will continue to enforce those agreements but we need to take a broader approach to reach a solution around the problem.
Q. If customers approach me to find out what they can do about the issue what should I tell them?
A. You can direct customers to the BankCheck website at www.bankcheck.net.au
Q. How can I get involved/support the campaign?
A. Visit our website and tell us your experience on our forum on Debt Stress. Read our draft Charter of Responsible Lending and give us your feedback. Discuss the matter with your colleagues. Watch out for further information that will issue shortly.