A Customer First Approach in a challenging year

The financial year 2019-20 brought about many challenges for Bank First, as it did for all financial organisations. Despite the unprecedented challenges of the summer bushfires through to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank First was well positioned to offer support to our community. After more than four decades of financially empowering educators to realise their dreams we are still driven by the same founding values and focus on putting our customers first.

A customer first approach has driven consistent financial performance. A net profit of $9.4m was delivered based on sound management of the balance sheet, interest margin and expenditure. Loans increased by 1.94% and deposits by 6.37%. Growth was steady over the financial year, with total assets increasing by 6.26%. CEO William Wolke advised: “Our financial performance for the year ended 30 June 2020 has been sound and Bank First faces the future in a confident frame of mind.”

Chair of the Board, Bernie Lloyd agrees. “Financial year 2020 revealed an ebb and flow as you can imagine. Despite the historically low interest levels, fierce competition from bigger banks, and the impact of the devastating summer fires, we were tracking well against our budgets until the COVID-19 outbreak in March. I encourage you to read the data and commentary presented in our Annual Review and our Annual Report to gain a full picture.”

Committed to our community 

Our Purpose Statement - Financially empowering people who build community realise their dreams - resounds even more strongly now as we look at the critical roles essential vocations such as education, nursing and allied health play in the current pandemic. “We are proud that we are actively supporting these essential workers who are supporting our community right now,” said Mr Wolke.

Bank First is constantly looking for ways to improve the customer experience and technology is one of the primary investments, utilised to further accessibility and deepen the customer relationship. This year we introduced mobile wallets, upgraded the app and  intelligent automation to enable the Bank to become more agile in the face of increased demand and a rapidly changing operating environment. 

Despite the challenges of the last financial year, Ms Lloyd highlighted the “exemplary manner in which Bank First staff responded to the sudden pandemic outbreak and its accompanying lockdown.” With our values at the heart of Bank First our support for our people has continued to come to life during COVID-19, as has the adaptability of our staff. 

Retiring CEO William Wolke continues: “I have a sense of pride as I leave a strong purpose driven Bank with an authentic set of values and culture. A Bank that can choose to remain true to its purpose and understands what it stands for. A Customer Owned Bank that is well placed for the future.”

For more information about the 2019/2020 financial year and associated commentary visit our 2020 Annual review page.