CBA expands financial abuse support program

Financial Abuse CBA commonwealth

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has unveiled the next phase of its support and advocacy program for victim-survivors of financial abuse, promising grants of up to $200,000 for qualifying partners.

Unveiled at CBA’s Financial Abuse Leadership Summit today, the Next Chapter Innovation program will partner with not-for-profit and social enterprise organisations to support projects designed to help victim-survivors in their long-term recovery.

Program partners will be eligible for grants of $50,000, $100,000 or $200,000, with CBA also offering executive support and mentoring, access to a think tank to leverage corporate expertise, and involvement in an inaugural conference to be hosted by the bank.

Partner organisations must be Australian-based and operated, with services providing direct funding to Australian-based programs.

The next iteration of the Next Chapter program, first launched in 2020, focuses its efforts on the most “at-risk” Australians, including First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse communities, young people, people with a disability, older people and LGBTQI+ communities.

Speaking at the Summit today, CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the Next Chapter Innovation is hoped to “elevate our existing work with a range of DFV sector partners committed to helping eliminate financial abuse – a job where there is clearly more to be done.”

Fellow event speaker, Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Justine Elliot, commended CBA “for its support of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-32”.

To coincide with the Summit, CBA also released figures from its latest Community Awareness survey, conducted by YouGov, which found that, despite increasing awareness of the problem, rates of financial abuse appear not to have improved.

Consistent with findings from the 2020 survey, it found 42 per cent of Australians have experienced financial abuse themselves or know someone who has.

According to the latest survey, financial abuse is more prevalent amongst younger people, with three in ten Gen Zs (32 per cent) and Millennials (29 per cent) reporting an experience with, compared with 20 per cent of Baby Boomers.

Survey respondents who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander were four times as likely as those who do not (15 per cent) to say that they have experienced financial abuse from another family member.

Further, Australians with a disability (37 per cent) are more than twice as likely as those without (17 per cent) to have experienced financial abuse from a partner.

Applications for the Next Chapter Innovation partner program are now open and close on Friday, 25 August 2023.