Suncorp flags $70m fix after ‘error’ in staff payments

QUEENSLAND insurance and banking giant Suncorp has found "potential incorrect payments to some employees" which will cost between $40 million to $70 million to remediate.

Suncorp revealed "inconsistencies" had been found in its rostering and pay systems, "which may have led to errors in payments of overtime, shift penalties and public holiday loadings".

"The analysis to date has identified potential instances of underpayments and overpayments," the company said.

Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said remediation efforts would focus on the underpayments.

 

"As a Suncorp employee of long standing I am incredibly disappointed that we have let our people down - there is no excuse and we need to get this right," he said.

The group has self-reported to the Fair Work Ombudsman and engaged Deloitte to assist with remediation.

The pay bungle comes as COVID-19 affects Suncorp's banking and insurance businesses.

It has recorded a reduction in motor vehicle claims and an increase in landlord loss of rent claims.

Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston.
Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston.

 

Suncorp also announced the departure of its Banking and Wealth CEO, Lee Hatton.

Ms Hatton, who started at the group in February, said commuting from her Sydney home to Brisbane was "not sustainable".

She has accepted a role with a Sydney-based financial technology company.

Suncorp's full-year group costs will be slightly above $2.7 billion, including pay and leave entitlements remediation.

Despite the hit Mr Johnston insists the group is well capitalised to cover the expected economic deterioration due to COVID-19.

"Suncorp was quick to respond to this crisis, realigning our business around five clear priorities to guide our response: ensuring the health and safety of our people, supporting our customers, protecting our business, engaging our stakeholders and preparing for the post-COVID-19 environment," he said.

"We have launched several support packages and financial hardship options, and we have been working closely with industry bodies, government and regulators to ensure a coordinated response."

Mr Johnston said the group has provided discounts and premium waivers to 12,300 insurance customers in Australia and New Zealand and approved $4.05 billion in loan deferrals.

Originally published as Suncorp flags $70m fix after 'error' in staff payments