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Suncorp business reset ‘well underway’

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Suncorp CEO Steve Johnston says a program to “reset” the business and pursue opportunities following COVID-19 is well underway.

“We have made changes to our business model, the structure of our group and to our team,” Mr Johnston told the group’s online annual general meeting last week.

“We are removing duplication, streamlining decision-making and ensuring everyone at Suncorp understands their role in driving improved customer and shareholder outcomes in our core insurance and banking businesses.”

Suncorp has announced changes in recent months to its structures and teams, with the Finance Sector Union last month warning job losses will affect both the insurance and banking businesses.

Mr Johnston, who formally became CEO last September, says the company is managing changes carefully and providing “significant support and assistance”, particularly for those employees who will leave over coming weeks.

In the insurance business the brand portfolio is being reinvigorated, the company is reviewing its marketing strategy and effectiveness, and the product set is being simplified and coverage reassessed in light of the changing climate, affordability issues and more demanding community expectations, he told the AGM.

“Our distribution capability will support an optimal balance between all our distribution channels to drive down cost to serve and increase productivity,” he said. “And we are aspiring to be best in class in our delivery of claims.”

Suncorp last week also pressed the case for governments to open borders following the severe economic impact from the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The reopening of borders is key to helping restart our economy,” Chairman Christine McLoughlin told the meeting.

“We understand that this must be done carefully and sensibly, with health and safety of the community in mind. But it will be a critical step to take us forward.”