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Customer owned banking reaches historic $100 billion milestone

Australia’s customer owned banking sector today celebrated a historic milestone in reaching $100 billion in total assets.

The latest quarterly figures from APRA released today show a surge in home loan growth helped lift the sector to $101 billion in total assets.

We’ve seen today through the APRA data that more and more Australian families are taking out a loan with us and achieving their dream of buying a home,” COBA CEO Mark Degotardi said.

“Reaching $100 billion in assets further underlines that the customer owned model, with its 4 million customers, is the proven alternative to the listed model in retail banking.

“Mutual banks, credit unions and building societies are delivering great service, highly competitive pricing and an unmatched customer focus.

“Customers are our owners and number one focus and unlike our listed competitors we don’t have the tension of trying to maximise returns to a separate group of shareholders.

“We can provide even more effective competition and choice in banking if we have a level playing field and a fair go from regulators.

“Our top priority is prompt implementation of the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) recommendations 1, 2 and 3 on regulatory capital. Urgent action is needed to reduce the unfair funding cost advantage that major banks enjoy due to current regulatory capital settings.

“The Government has responded positively to these recommendations because they will ‘reduce the advantages the larger banks have over their smaller counterparts, increasing competition and leading to better outcomes for consumers.’

“However, the timetable for implementing the recommendations is largely at the discretion of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). We need the Government to ensure that APRA gives sufficient priority to this task.”

The facts about customer owned banking: :

  • 4 million customers bank with customer owned banks.

  • There are 85 customer owned banking institutions, including mutual banks.

  • Customer owned banks manage $100 Billion in assets.

  • Customer owned banks offer market leading customer satisfaction.

  • 100% of profits benefit customers & communities.

  • There is no conflict of interest between customers & shareholders.

  • Deposits are subject to government guarantee.

  • Offer the 2nd largest branch and ATM network.

  • Customer owned banks have the fifth largest share of household deposits.

  • Average standard variable interest rate for owner-occupied loans is 63 basis points lower than the big four banks*.

  • Credit cards offered by customer owned banking institutions, compared to the big four banks, have substantially lower average rates; more free days; and lower annual fees^.

* Sourced from Canstar database, August 2016, standard homeloans available at 80% LVR for $400k, excluding special offers
^ Sourced from Canstar database, August 2016, standard credit cards (unsecured), excluding premium cards and special offers.

Customer Owned Banking Association is the industry body for credit unions, building societies, mutual banks and friendly societies. See www.customerownedbanking.asn.au.