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.
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 Sanlam’s plain language policy to ensure clear, simple language and ease of understanding.
While it is mainly Sanlam’s responsibility to ensure a product is appropriate for a target market, intermediaries should ensure it is suitable for their particular client. They should be comfortable that the product is in line with the client’s needs, budget and risk appetite.
Our intermediaries are therefore expected to understand which product or service is suitable for which client segments and target these accordingly.
We support our intermediaries with administrative guidance, advice and provide access to value-adding and competitive financial solutions. Our product governance framework ensures that the launch of new products or services is aligned with the training of intermediaries and support staff (including call centre employees). This includes training on new regulatory reforms.
We have a strong internal complaints management process that is governed by a Group complaints policy. Our internal complaints processes allow clients to lodge complaints with the Sanlam arbitrator.
Clients should not face unreasonable post-sale barriers, specifically:
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 www.ombud.co.za.
The Sanlam Personal Finance (SPF) client care centre (CCC) handles 137 000 client interactions daily through various channels.
Every request the CCC receives is linked to a specific event, and every event is carefully managed according to specific timelines for finalisation. Service level agreements between the CCC and distribution partners form the basis of contracted timelines.
Clients will typically interact on values, modes of payment enquiries, premium alterations, requesting documents and forms, requesting quotes, requesting tax certificates, bridging, cancellations, surrenders and cash withdrawals. We also have a high number of fund maturity and retirement enquiries.
To optimise this process, we have 23 bots processing more than 10 000 CCC service requests per month, at a success rate of 90%.
Client satisfaction is further supported through the improved Sanlam Secure Services client portal. The portal ensures quick and effective engagement and a positive experience when clients interact with the cluster. Clients can view their portfolios, statements and personal information. The offering includes innovative solutions, for example an online document vault where clients can store personal documents like IDs, marriage certificates and wills. It makes face-to-face engagements more focused on financial planning and relieves the administrative burden on intermediaries. To date, there are around 330 000 registered users of the portal, of whom 90% have SPF products in their portfolio.
Sanlam and the National Stokvel Association of South Africa (NASASA) created an opportunity for stokvels to formalise their purpose without having to forego any traditions. This means that each member of a stokvel can be protected in their time of need.
NASASA is a self-regulatory organisation with a database of 125 000 stokvel groups, reaching about 2,5 million individuals. Sanlam and NASASA launched NASASA Financial Services Proprietary Limited – a brokerage to foster broader financial inclusion for all members.
NASASA Financial Services distributes tailor-made products nationally via its distribution force. Sanlam, as underwriter through NASASA Financial Services, will initially offer group-based funeral benefits, tailored to each individual type of stokvel. This includes a full product for burial stokvels, covering up to nine family members. The products are competitively priced, with each stokvel paying one premium based on the option selected.