This has been an important year for Bank First. Whilst achieving excellent financial results and continuing to serve our customers (owners) well we have revised our name and branding in line with our Purpose Statement:
Financially empowering people who build community realise their dreams.
We remain committed to being a customer owned bank which continues to carry forward the values and culture that are inherently part and parcel of who we are. Below decks we are essentially the same organisation which is now reaching out to other pillars of society similar to teachers and educators. After extensive external research and testing we believe our new trading name, Bank First, will be more relevant for future generations.
The brand change has been well received by current and prospective customers, staff, all our stakeholders and business partners. I’d like to thank you, our customers, for your support in this transformational journey.
This year I attended the World Credit Union Conference in Singapore, 1400 delegates representing 250 million people in over 50 countries. The themes that came out of the conference were digital disruption, changing society and customer expectations, big data, blockchain, open banking, etc. Bank First is paying close attention to these trends and indeed incorporating some into our offerings, particularly digital and technology platforms. Likewise Bank First continues to invest in technology so that added value can be provided, for example, mobile apps and our new Home First platform for assisting first home buyers. The challenge is continuing to invest in the future whilst ensuring we remain financially strong and relevant to our customers as they deal with major events in their lives.
In last year’s Annual Review we mentioned that we live in an ever changing and rapidly evolving society and financial services marketplace. With this comes changing expectations and the concept of corporate social licence to operate. Our move to the name Bank First is part of meeting such challenges.
To follow up on specific work mentioned in last year’s Annual Review:
- Participation in implementing real time payments for Australia. This was achieved at the end of 2017 with the deployment of the New Payments Platform and required a great deal of work and technology investment.
- Premises for our new Moonee Ponds branch have been secured and we expect to open in Puckle Street before the end of the year.
- We have modernised and are relocating to a state of the art business continuity site.
I thank and congratulate our customers, our staff, directors and management for the results and achievements this year and the sustained track record of not losing focus on our reason for being – to benefit you, our Members, our customers.