Case Study 1

Case Study 1

Title Review of special loans program for low income people
Category Banking and finance / social research
Client ANZ and The Brotherhood of St Laurence
Research objective  To assess the effectiveness of the Progress Loans program in meeting the financial needs of consumers on low incomes and to identify ways to improve the program.
Research approach A mix of qualitative and quantitative research techniques were used with past and present loans customers:

  • Four exploratory group discussions with past and present loans customers
  • 16 face to face depth interviews with past and present loans customers
  • 200 telephone interviews (CATI) with past and present loans customers (50%+ of customer base)

A series of face to face depth interviews were used to pilot test the structured questionnaires prior to the telephone stage.

Results and outcomes Key findings: The research showed that the Progress Loans program was effective at meeting the financial needs of consumers on low incomes. It showed that the customer experience was positive generating high customer satisfaction. It also showed the program had a number of positive social impacts including helping to address the problem of financial exclusion and being a positive driver of social inclusion. A key conclusion was that more low income people would benefit from the Progress Loans program if it was made more widely available (being a pilot program only available in Victoria).

Outcomes: As a result of the research, ANZ and The Brotherhood of St Laurence were able make improvements to the loans program and had strong evidence of the benefits of expanding the loans program. A summary of the results were published as a way of contributing to the body of knowledge associated with initiatives designed to address the significant  problems of financial and social exclusion in Australia.