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Skip Navigation Linksresponsible-financial-solutions Developing Responsible Financial Solutions

Developing Responsible Financial Solutions

Products and services should align to our clients’ financial situation, investment objectives, level of risk tolerance, and level of financial knowledge and experience.

Key Performance Indicators

Number of customer complaints

9 046 (2017: 9 493)

Customer satisfaction benchmark

78 (2017: 78)

We further subscribe to the independent Ombudsman of Long-Term Insurance’s (OLTI) Long-Term Ombudsman Scheme. Our long-term insurance policyholders can lodge a complaint with the OLTI for resolution. The OLTI publishes industry complaints data for all subscribers in their annual report. This information is available on their website at

Retaining Our Clients’ Trust in Us

Our ability to fulfil clients’ needs is at the core of their confidence in us. Failure to meet clients’ needs has broader implications for them, as an inappropriate product or service could erode their financial soundness, stability and resilience, particularly if clients have low levels of financial literacy or are excluded from the formal economy. We therefore ensure:

Our Product Governance Framework provides guidance on how product material should be formulated. All product material goes through a sign-off process to ensure a single message is delivered to the target group to communicate product features and limitations. Our web-based marketing system provides a record of all marketing decisions, centralises all marketing data, and ensures brand and regulatory compliance on a global scale. All material must be in line with our plain language policy to ensure clear, simple language and ease of understanding.

While it is mainly the product supplier’s responsibility to ensure a product is appropriate for a particular target market, intermediaries should ensure a product is suitable for the particular client concerned, i.e. that the product is in line with the client’s needs, budget and risk appetite. Our intermediaries are therefore expected to understand for which client segments the product or service is suitable and products and services should be targeted accordingly.

We support our intermediaries with administrative guidance, leadership and advice and provide access to value-adding and competitive financial solutions. Our Product Governance Framework mandates aligning the launch of new products or services with the training of intermediaries and support staff (including call centre employees). This includes training on new regulatory reforms. Read more about the role of regulation.

Our Product Governance Framework mandates five steps to ensure a clearly defined target market is identified at the start of the product development process:

  1. Develop a product initiation memorandum, which includes insights into product features, a competitor analysis (including current industry and market penetration), and proposed distribution channels.
  2. Identify elements of the new product (and any product changes) that put the client at high risk. Risk-mitigating actions are also identified at this stage.
  3. Formulate detailed product rules and pricing and sign off on the actuarial and economic integrity of the product.
  4. Analyse processes and systems required to implement a product, as we recognise that constrained processes or systems could influence product design. This poses a risk that the product could be adjusted in a way that does not meet clients’ needs.
  5. Step five mandates the approval of the Executive committee.

We adhere to a Product Segmentation Policy, which mandates that due consideration be given during product development to ensure all products are designed with an appropriate target market in mind. Our simplified client segmentation model ensures we understand which products are targeted for which clients, and which products and communications reach those clients.

Clients should not face unreasonable post-sale barriers, specifically:

  • Changing products
  • Switching providers
  • Insurance (long and short-term risk)
  • Resolving and handling complaints

We have a strong internal complaints management process that is governed by a Group Complaints Policy. Our internal complaints processes provide clients with the opportunity to lodge complaints with the Sanlam arbitrator. We further subscribe to the independent Ombudsman of Long-Term Insurance’s (OLTI) Long-Term Ombudsman Scheme. Our long-term insurance policyholders can lodge a complaint with the OLTI for resolution. The OLTI publishes industry complaints data for all subscribers in their annual report. This information is available on their website at

We define client-centricity as:

  • Understanding clients and their financial service needs
  • Providing the right, tailored solutions to fulfil their needs and perform as expected
  • Being fully accountable for delivering on client promises
  • Getting things right the first time, every time
  • Taking responsibility
  • Assisting and serving clients efficiently and within an acceptable time frame
  • Providing clear and understandable answers

The Sanlam Way of doing business supports our client-centric approach and is embedded across the different markets and geographies within which we operate. We measure client engagement in South Africa through client experience research during all stages of the product life cycle. We conduct research among clients, intermediaries and employees to measure trends in client experience. Sanlam tests client satisfaction with products and services against the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) and Ask Afrika Orange Index.

Innovative Financial Solutions that Add Value

In 2018, Sanlam Personal Finance enhanced its value proposition and launched new financial solutions that meet clients’ needs and expectations.

The Advanced Leadership Certificate in Design Thinking offers Wealthsmiths™ a learning experience that draws on the latest trends, research and methodologies to devise fast, innovative and cost-effective solutions our clients really want. The pilot programme began in February 2018 and was presented over 10 months to 34 delegates from across the Group.

Through the BI Programme, Sanlam Personal Finance will combine technology, people and processes to better analyse data and enhance decision-making. Positive outcomes will include creating better client experiences, improving operational efficiency and reducing the risk of ageing technology.

Fedworx BlueStar’s integrated offering enables BlueStar advisers to take care of their clients’ financial and health needs. The collaboration will enable us to integrate and cross-sell products that meet our respective clients’ needs – saving them money they could potentially use to expand their financial portfolio. The offering features comprehensive lifestyle and medical aid benefits, giving clients the opportunity to earn Sanlam Reality points, move up on the tiering system and unlock even more discounts and benefits on other Sanlam products

Clients Rate Sanlam Reality

According to the latest South African Consumer Satisfaction Index, Sanlam’s Reality rewards programme scored highest on the satisfaction index.

read more

Our TCF Results Show a Commitment to Fairness

The results of our 2017 Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) Study indicate that our employees are on track in terms of treating clients fairly.

TCF is an outcomes-driven approach to regulation that is designed to ensure regulated financial institutions apply specific standards of fairness to their clients. Most importantly, TCF fairness spans the entire life cycle of a product – from design through to advice and aftersales service. TCF identifies six specific fairness outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Customers are confident that they are dealing with a Group where the fair treatment of customers is central to the firm’s culture.
  • Outcome 2: Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of the identified customer groups and are targeted accordingly.
  • Outcome 3: Customers are given clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the time of contracting.
  • Outcome 4: Where customers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances.
  • Outcome 5: Customers are provided with products that perform as the Group has led them to expect, and the associated service is both of an acceptable standard and what they have been led to expect.
  • Outcome 6: Customers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers to change a product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.

We are a pioneer in incorporating the client view into our governance structures. The Sanlam Customer Interest committee was initiated in 1998 as a Board committee and has since then broadened its mandate in terms of Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) Regulations. Its scope encompasses the entire Group as it provides guidance to the Board on strategic issues relating to clients. The committee reviews and monitors all strategic client-related decisions. These are closely aligned with the six fairness outcomes of TCF.

Our latest entrenchment index score is available for 2017 and we achieved 77 out of a total of 100 indicating that:

  • The fair treatment of clients remains integrated into the various businesses’ strategies;
  • Management is demonstrating commitment to treating clients fairly; and
  • Products and services are being designed that meet clients’ needs.
Sanlam Life Insurance is a licensed financial service provider.
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