14 NOVEMBER 2019

47th Annual General Meeting of Victoria Teachers Limited

A Customer First Approach

Following the Financial Services Royal Commission, many banks were searching for their reason for being. For Bank First, 2018-19 was a year of further entrenching our purpose as a customer owned bank and our heritage of supporting those in the community who strive to support others - a focus that was highlighted at the 47th Annual General Meeting on 14 November 2019. 

A ‘customer first’ approach drove strong financial performance. A net profit of $11m was delivered, based on sound management of the balance sheet, interest margin and expenditure. Loans increased by 12.40% and deposits by 7.32%. This growth was steady over the financial year, with total assets increasing by 7.21% and total equity by 7.65%. Bank First is well positioned to add continued value, with a capital adequacy ratio of 15.90%. 

CEO William Wolke was proud to confirm that new customer growth was strong and loan growth was over three times that of the financial system. Mr Wolke said, “This reiterates our commitment to the communities that we serve and acts as a community fund to expand our offerings to people who work in likeminded vocations”. He went on to say that, “These results are also evident by the competitive interest rates on loans and deposits, particularly in comparison to the major banks”. 

Chair of the Board, Bernie Lloyd was pleased of Bank First’s annual results and customer-centric focus, saying, “Despite a range of societal and economic challenges including the lowest interest rates on record, a volatile and sometimes faltering housing market and people losing trust in their institutions, Bank First can hold its head high”. 

Looking to the future: Customers at the heart of everything we do

Pleased that Bank First met and exceeded all targets, Ms Lloyd noted that she is proud of the Canstar Innovation Excellence Award 2019 provided to Bank First for the First Start Shared Equity Agreement. Ms Lloyd also emphasised the announcement of the Bank First Community Fund, “We are pleased to announce the launch of the Bank First Community Fund which will amalgamate our activities and support for the community and continue to add real value at a grassroots level”. 
Mr Wolke commented on the future, saying this approach allows us to continue to add value while reinforcing our purpose and strengthening our ability to support our customers and the wider sector of community builders. 

He went on to say that, “Our strong financial platform allows us to strive to invest in technologies to enhance the customer experience at every touchpoint, further enhance customer service and continue to provide financial benefit to our customers”. Mr Wolke continued, “Bank First will continue to focus on financially empowering people”. He specifically mentioned that home affordability is a real issue for many Australians and providing support to home buyers will remain a key focus.

The outlook was centred on customers remaining at the heart of every decision at Bank First. Mr Wolke reinforced that, “we remain committed to our customers and will continue to provide value while navigating our way through this period of economic uncertainty”.” 

More information about the 2018/19 financial year and associated commentary is available here.