Financial difficulties can be triggered by any number of things - relationship breakdowns, redundancies, illness, injuries, or even having a child.
Budgeting support can ease these unexpected financial pressures which is why Westpac NZ is connecting customers to Financial Mentors.
Westpac has teamed up with financial capability organisation FinCap to connect customers to Financial Mentors through a dedicated phone where they can access support.
Financial Mentors can help by providing budgeting support or even negotiate with creditors in cases where debt has spiralled out of control.
“By the time people are working with Financial Mentors, they often need immediate help,” said Westpac’s Extra Care Programme Lead Tania Reed.
“This new initiative will help fast track any conversations they may need to have with the bank.
“We’re all trying to achieve the same thing, which is to make sure our most vulnerable get the extra help and support they need,” she said.
Westpac Financial Solutions Manager Anand Santhanam said his team of eight was trialing the system to make sure it works for everyone involved.
“We want to make this a seamless customer experience, and the only way to achieve this is by working together with the Financial Mentors and Westpac.”
FinCap Policy Advisor Jake Lilley says this is a great model that he hopes other businesses will follow.
“This is a fantastic initiative to make sure the Financial Mentors’ expertise paves a pathway forward for people feeling overwhelmed with financial difficulties,” he said.
Offering access to Financial Mentors is part of Westpac’s Extra Care Programme, which also includes offering sign language interpreters to Deaf customers and offering bank accounts to help newly-released prisoners re-integrate into society.
If you need support, call our Westpac team on 0800 400 600.