PEOPLE MEETING COMMON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL NEEDS TOGETHER

Banking & Financial Services

Customer owned banks

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/demonstrably honest businesses

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.

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 operating the same business strategy.  The fact that they were less damaged by the crisis helped to mitigate risk in those economies and ultimately 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.

Examples

APS Benefits Group

APS Benefits Group

The APS Benefits Group is a mutual which offers personal and financial products and services to more than 29,000 members and clients Australia-wide.

Year established: 1905

Type: Mutual

Industry: Banking & Financial Services

Bank of us

Bank of us

Bank of us is Tasmania’s only customer owned bank with more than 30,000 customers, eight branches statewide and more than $700 million 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 – from term deposits, everyday and savings accounts through to home loans, personal loans and general insurance.

Year established: 1870

Type: Customer Owned, Mutual

Industry: Banking & Financial Services

Cuscal

Cuscal

Cuscal’s business is payments. They are Australia’s leading provider of end-to-end payments solutions whose capabilities include card and acquiring products, mobile payments, fraud prevention, EFT switching and settlements, plus running the rediATM Scheme, one of Australia’s largest ATM networks.

Year established: 1978

Type: Mutual

Industry: Banking & Financial Services

Rabobank

Rabobank is active in the Netherlands and many other countries worldwide. As a socially responsible bank, Rabobank is committed to contributing to welfare and prosperity in the Netherlands and to solving the global food issue.

Rabobank is a cooperative with members rather than shareholders. Customers can demonstrate their involvement with the bank by becoming members. Nearly two million customers are currently members of Rabobank. They have a voice in deciding the bank’s course.

Year established: 1972

Type: Customer Owned, Mutual

Industry: Banking & Financial Services

Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union

Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union

Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union (WECU) offers its members a better alternative to banks and other deposit taking institutions. With an understanding and knowledge of the lifestyle needs of the employees of the Woolworths group of companies, WECU provides quality financial products with competitive interest rates, minimal fees and a friendly, personalised service. WECU’s range of services includes a selection of savings and investment accounts, loans for any worthwhile purpose, general and health insurance and financial planning.

Year established: 1971

Type: Customer Owned, Mutual

Industry: Banking & Financial Services

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