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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank join Respect and Protect Initiative

4 June 2024 |Announcements

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has today joined the growing list of Australian businesses pledging to work together in the fight against financial abuse.

The Respect and Protect initiative, led by social enterprise Flequity Ventures, asks businesses to promote and protect customers and communities against financial abuse, particularly in the banking, insurance, telecommunications and energy sectors where perpetrators have the ability to threaten their victims or accrue debt on their behalf.

Through the Respect and Protect initiative, organisations have agreed to protect consumers from the misuse of their products and services for financial abuse by updating their terms and conditions or policies.

Chief Customer Officer for Consumer Banking at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Richard Fennell said the Bank was committed to improved support for financially vulnerable customers, staff, suppliers, and our wider community.

“By the end of 2024, we will have included reference to ‘Unacceptable Account Conduct’ in our terms and conditions which allows the Bank to suspend, cancel or deny individuals access to products or services if the Bank identifies them as engaging in financial abuse,” Mr Fennell committed.

“We acknowledge that we all have a part to play in assisting those vulnerable members of our community and we’re committed to ensuring everyone feels safe and empowered when banking with us.”

The Bank’s Respect and Protect pledge furthers its commitment to support potential and actual victims of family and domestic violence and financial abuse.

For our customers this includes:

  • Information and direct links to support are available on our website.
  • A specialised team within the Bank who can help survivors, or their authorised representatives regain control of their finances and who will always protect confidentiality and safety.
  • Education in the communities we operate in and support programs that uplift digital literacy and independence for vulnerable or excluded groups and individuals, through partnerships with Rural Women Online and the Good Things Foundation.
  • Our Foundational Financial Inclusion Action Plan faces into and confronts some of the serious issues and life events, including domestic and family violence, experienced by some of our customers and puts in place direct and indirect supports to enable fair and equitable access to our services.

For our people this includes:

  • Leave entitlements for any employee experiencing; or supporting a close relative who is experiencing; family and domestic violence, including financial abuse.
  • A specialised team to help employees who are experiencing financial vulnerability due to domestic and family violence or who are impacted by financial abuse.
  • Employees and their family touched by domestic and family violence can also access free, professional counselling from our employee assistance program.

For more information or assistance, please visit:

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this nation and the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present as it is their knowledge and experience that holds the key to the success of future generations.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Information on this page can change without notice to you.
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