CEO's Report

Reflections from Michelle Bagnall for the 2021 Annual Review.

Bank First is a bank built by our Members, for our Members.

As we close out this past financial year, we are proud of the way in which our bank responded to the challenges of the past year with a strong focus on our Members and our people.

We exist to serve essential workers in vocations such as education, nursing and allied health, those working to create a more resilient and strong community, in caring for others. Our purpose is ‘financially empowering people who build community realise their dreams’. That means that as you work to make our community more resilient, we are working to help you create greater financial resilience in your own lives. We have worked hard to ensure that this level of care has shown up in our everyday actions and most importantly in practical ways when we interact with our Members in every small way.

Over the past year, under very unusual circumstances, this has meant being there when our Members needed us most – in times when they’re facing into hardship.

The impacts of the pandemic have touched so many through this period, and have shone a light on our resilience as a community. That’s true also of our people here at Bank First. We have taken extra actions this past year to take care of our people through a series of wellness initiatives, including supporting them with time away from the business for their vaccinations.

Not only have we withstood these unusual conditions, but the strength of our business means we have continued to meet the needs of our Members, to grow and to care for our Bank First people who serve you.

This is my first annual review to our Members as your new CEO, having joined the business in February of this year. My first impression of this place is that of uncommon humanity and genuine care for our Members.

I wish to extend my thanks to our past CEO, William Wolke, whose 18 years of service at Bank First laid a foundation for the future of stability and safety. I also wish to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our Board members, under the leadership of our Chair Bernie Lloyd, and the way in which the Board works in concert with management to create an even stronger future for Bank First.

This past year we have continued to invest in our business so that we continue to be safe and strong, meeting all our regulatory requirements. Our lending growth has been the highest in the Bank’s history and our focus on responsible practices ensures that we are keeping both our bank and our Members safe. We are committed to continuing our investment in the operations of our bank so that we can simplify and streamline the way we work. This makes it easier for our people to get things done, and in turn will make it easier, faster and simpler for our Members.

As we invest in the bank of today, we are always thinking about what this means for Bank First into the future. This future strategy is being mapped out as we head into our next financial year, with an emphasis on building a better banking experience that is even more meaningful for our Members in education, healthcare and allied health. We will be investing in ways to improve our Member experience, including enhancing our digital experience, making it simpler and easier to do your banking with us. We have heard our Members’ feedback that there are things that we need to improve and do better, and we will be working actively to make these improvements. At the heart of our experience, however, is our people and we will be working even harder to ensure we never lose our ‘human touch’. We know it’s the people of Bank First that truly differentiate us from being just another bank.

2022 will mark our 50 years of service to our Members. As we head into our 50th year, we are consciously taking ourselves back to our origins in 1972 and actively thinking about our foundational Members, who set out to help each other, and their fellow educators. These founding principles of giving our Members access to something that they couldn’t get from any other bank are a guiding light as we map out our future.

As we close out the last financial year and look forward to an even stronger, brighter future, I want to thank you on behalf of the whole team for being a Member of Bank First. Thank you for the work that you have done, and continue to do in creating a more resilient and stronger community.

Executive Management Team

Executive Management Team
Top Row - Left to Right: Michelle Bagnall - Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Borg - Chief People & Culture Officer, Mark Di Donato - Acting Chief Technology Officer, Alison Hill - Chief Risk Officer
Bottom Row - Left to Right: Ashley Hood - Chief Operations Officer, David Percival - Chief Financial Officer, Matthew Ricker - Chief Customer Officer, Simone Van Veen - Chief Member Officer