Banking and financial services

Customer owned banks…

  • Offer better-value financial services products
  • Provide price competition against profit-maximising competitors
  • Provide better customer service
  • Are more ethical businesses that are demonstrably honest
  • Operate different business strategies, helping to mitigate against the overall risk of the sector to the economy
  • Remunerate their executives reasonably
  • Share a higher percentage of their profits with their community

Offer better-value financial services products

Over time, mutuals consistently provide better-value products to their customers because their businesses are focussed on long-term plans rather than short-term market disruption.

Provide price competition against profit-maximising competitors

The existence of customer owned banks in a market dominated by large profit-maximising banks means that they are able to provide the only meaningful competition on the basis of service proposition and price.

Provide better customer service

Customer service is the focus for customer owned banks and they consistently provide high-quality service and greater customer satisfaction in comparison to the biggest banks.

Are more ethical businesses that are demonstrably honest

In a market where trust is generally low, customer owned banks provide an alternative to the profit-maximising banks by consistently focussing on the needs of customers rather than shareholders. Across Australia, demand for ethical banking has increased four-fold in three years.

Operate different business strategies, helping to mitigate against the overall risk of the sector to the economy

In economies hit hard by the global financial crisis, customer owned banks acted as a bulwark against large banks which all operated according to the same business strategy.  The fact that they were less damaged by the crisis helped to mitigate risk in those economies and ultimately reduced costs to the taxpayer.

Remunerate their executives reasonably

Spiralling executive remuneration in listed banks has become a problem in Australia, with the added agency risk of short term performance being linked to pay. This has driven behaviours that are not present in customer owned banks, where salaries are cash based rather than incentivised by shareholding.

Share a higher percentage of their profits with their community

Customer owned banks are smaller than shareholder-owned banks but still manage to return a higher proportion of their profits to communities, charities and member-supported activities.

Banking and finance examples

APS Benefits Group Logo

APS Benefits Group

The APS Benefits Group is a mutual which offers financial, legal and insurance products and services to more than 30,000 members and clients Australia-wide.
Established Year: 1905
Type: Mutual
Australian Military Bank Logo

Australian Military Bank

Serving Australian Defence personnel and their families since 1959. Australia’s longest-serving Defence financial institution, Australian Military Bank is dedicated to helping those who protect and serve our community, by providing its members with quality service, low fees and competitive interest rates.
Established Year: 1959
Australian mutual bank logo

Australian Mutual Bank

Australian Mutual Bank was created as the result of the 2019 merger between Endeavour Mutual Bank and Sydney Credit Union. Member benefits include equally sharing in the success of the organisation through competitive rates, minimal fees and exceptional customer service.
Established Year: 1953
Bank Australia logo

Bank Australia

Bank Australia’s history includes those of many credit unions which came together to form the bank that exists today. Most recently for people working in the education sector, it now offers services to all Australians. It emphasises positive community and environmental outcomes as core, not incidental.
Established Year: 1957
Bank of us Logo

Bank of us

Bank of us is Tasmania’s only customer-owned bank with more than 31,000 customers, eight branches statewide and more than $1 billion in assets. Bank of us offers a comprehensive and competitive range of banking products and services designed to meet all personal and business banking needs.
Established Year: 1870
Bank First Logo

bankfirst

bankfirst was born when a group of 48 educators came together to form a financial institution that placed a value on what people did for the community – not simply by how much money they made. The member-owned bank is now open to all Australians.
Established Year: 1972
Bank Vic logo

BankVic

BankVic provides financial support to the Victoria Police and members of the health, emergency and public service sectors. It is committed to ‘banking with heart’ - building healthy communities that are financially, socially and environmentally sustainable.
Established Year: 1974
Beyond Bank logo

Beyond Bank

Beyond Bank is a customer-owned bank open to all Australians. It also works closely with not-for-profits and community organisations and supports their initiatives through fundraising, donations and volunteering.
Established Year: 1977
Community First Credit Union Logo

Community First Credit Union

Community First Credit Union is a community-based credit union with 15 financial services stores across Sydney, the Central Coast and the Northern Beaches. It aims to be an integral part of the communities in which its members live and work.
Established Year: 1959
Defence Bank Logo

Defence Bank

Defence Bank was originally formed for Australian Defence Force service members, but now serves the broader community around Australia as well. Defence Bank is one of Australia’s larger member-owned banks.
Established Year: 1975
Futurity Investment Group Logo

Futurity Investment Group

Futurity Investment Group (formerly known as ASG) was established by a group of parents passionate about giving their children the best start in life through education. It offers a range of options to plan for the costs of education through contributions by members which are invested by fund managers.
Established Year: 1974
Type: Mutual
G&C Mutual Bank logo

G&C Mutual Bank

G&C Mutual Bank is a different kind of bank, built around a big idea – It’s your bank, because you own it. Every one of G&C’s members is an owner with a voice and a say in the bank’s future. G&C Mutual Bank makes responsible, ethical decisions and reinvests profits to benefit its members and the community.
Established Year: 1959
Type: Mutual
Great Southern Bank logo

Great Southern Bank

The country’s largest customer-owned financial institution, Great Southern Bank (formerly CUA) offers financial and insurance products and services to over 560,000 members. Through a long and proud history and the amalgamation of more than 160 credit unions, GSB has become a major player in the financial services sector in Australia.
Established Year: 1946
Heritage Bank Logo

Heritage Bank Limited

Heritage Bank began 1875 as a building society in Toowoomba, QLD. Today, Heritage is one of the longest-standing financial institutions and has grown to be one of the largest customer owned banks in Australia.
Established Year: 1875
IMB Bank logo

IMB Bank

IMB is a member-owned bank with a growing branch network throughout Illawarra, Sydney, the NSW South Coast, ACT and Melbourne. The IMB Community Foundation was established in 1999 and since that time has provided over $10 million to support more than 700 community projects.
Established Year: 1880
KeyInvest Logo

KeyInvest

KeyInvest is a mutual Friendly Society originally emanating from the IOOF (SA) which was established in 1878. Today, KeyInvest is a provider of retirement, finance and investment services, predominantly in Investment Bonds and Property, including developing and managing Retirement Villages.
Established Year: 1878
P&N Bank logo

P&N Bank

P&N Bank originated in Western Australia in 1990 from the merger between a police and nurses credit union. It is now open to all Western Australians and is the state’s largest member-owned bank.
Established Year: 1990
People’s Choice Credit Union Logo

People’s Choice Credit Union

People’s Choice is one of Australia’s largest credit unions with 411,000 members and branches in South Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria, Western Australia and ACT. It employs around 1,000 people and has assets including funds under advice of nearly $10 billion.
Established Year: 1949
Police Bank Logo

Police Bank

Police Bank is a financial mutual serving the needs of the policing community, offering a range of financial products and services. Originally registered as NSW Police Credit Union in 1964 with just 60 Members. Today, Police Bank has grown to be one of the biggest and most successful mutuals in Australia.
Established Year: 1964
Queensland Country Bank Logo

Queensland Country Bank

Originally a credit union for Isa Mine employees, Queensland Country Bank is today, available to all Queenslanders. As a customer-owned institution, community development and personal growth are core to the Bank’s activities.
Established Year: 1971
Rabobank logo

Rabobank

Responsible and committed to contributing to community prosperity and solving the global food issue.
Established Year: 1972
Type: Mutual
Summerland Credit Union logo

Summerland Credit Union

Providing ethical banking options, trusted advice and supporting their members and community.
Established Year: 1964
Teachers Mutual Bank Logo

Teachers Mutual Bank

Teachers Mutual Bank has provided key financial services to Australian educators throughout its existence. It is committed to strong standards of corporate responsibility through community investment and ethical business and has been recognised as one of the world’s most ethical companies.
Established Year: 1966
The Mutual Bank logo

The Mutual Bank

A member-owned bank offering industry-leading service and award-winning financial products to the Hunter Region. Established in 1888, The Mutual Bank has a long history of helping local people and small businesses to achieve their financial goals whilst supporting local employment and grassroots community organisations.
Established Year: 1888
Type: Mutual

Banking & Finance Submissions

Regional Banking Taskforce

BCCM recommended that Government work with the co-operative and mutual sector to support innovative community-led banking solutions.
Jurisdiction: Commonwealth
Committee: Treasury
Submission Date: 23 Dec 2021

Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology inquiry

Mutuals now have more flexibility to fund the take up of new technology.
Jurisdiction: Commonwealth
Committee: Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology
Submission Date: 20 Jan 2020

Final Report of the Review into Open Banking

The BCCM supported the Open Banking concept and advocated for the impact of implementation to take into account the mutual ADI sector.
Jurisdiction: Commonwealth
Committee: Treasury
Submission Date: 23 Mar 2018