Karen Starr - March 2018
Currently, trust is a hot topic in the banking and broader financial services industry. Recent demand for an Australian banking royal commission was eventually conceded, and is now underway (read more about the Royal Commission here) as untold stories of banking misdemeanors and their dire consequences have received widespread media exposure and public condemnation.
We are confident that the banking royal commission will confirm mutual banks such as Bank First are honest, decent and ethical institutions because our values and practices are fundamentally different from the big four banks. Publicly listed banks have to consider the interests of their shareholders first – investors who may not be their customers. These banks must find ways to be more ‘efficient’ (cut costs) and raise profitability, and the ways in which they do this may not be in the best interests of their customers (as many complainants’ stories prove).
As Members of Bank First we all own our bank, and always have. We run on the principle of one Member, one share, one vote (at AGMs) – including a say on who represents you on the Board. Our duty as a Board, and that of all Bank First employees, is to serve you – our owners and customers. To meet this charter, we put Members’ interests first, we place an emphasis on providing high quality service, and we are answerable to Members through formal, regulated and certified reporting (via the AGM, annual reports and our numerous ongoing communications).
Our profits are directed back into the organisation to ensure excellent products, lower fees and favourable interest rates for depositors and borrowers. That is what mutuality means – and it protects your interests so you can have faith and trust in your bank.