Banking with Heritage Bank, instead of one of the big four, saved customers more than $41 million in 2014/15 – a tangible demonstration of the value that customer-owned institutions deliver, Chairman Mr Kerry Betros said today.
Mr Betros told today’s Annual General Meeting that Heritage Bank’s customer-owned model delivered an outstanding overall banking experience.
“Independent research by analysts Canstar found that in 2014/15 our customers were more than $41 million better off by banking with Heritage rather than the big four banks,” he said.
“We also ended the financial year with a Roy Morgan main financial institution customer satisfaction score of 93.5% - almost 10% higher than the average score of the four big banks in Queensland.
“We deliver a better financial outcome for customers and a more satisfying experience. We don’t take profits from the pockets of customers and pay them out to shareholders.
“The customer-owned banking model that Heritage represents provides an outstanding result for customers. We offer a hugely important and valuable alternative in the Australian banking sector. The only problem is that too few people realise just what they’re missing out on.”
Mr Betros said Heritage had reported another year of solid results in 2014/15. The pre-tax profit was $48.01 million, a 4.1% decrease on the previous year. This profit result was constrained to a degree by a significant investment program Heritage is currently making in digital technologies, both customer-facing and back office
Loan approvals increased significantly, up 27.6% to a total $1.838 billion. Heritage also grew its total consolidated assets marginally to $8.557 billion, confirming its standing as Australia’s largest customer-owned bank.
Mr Betros told the AGM that the massive shift to online banking was making fundamental changes to the sector. Heritage has responded with a five-year investment strategy to upgrade online and mobile banking services, improve data systems, and simplify processes.
“This investment in transforming our business for the digital age is non-negotiable – we must make these changes to stay relevant to our customers,” Mr Betros said.
Mr Betros also said that today’s AGM would be the final one for outgoing CEO Mr John Minz, who retires on 19 November after 22 years at Heritage, including the last 12 as CEO.
“I would like to acknowledge the enormous contribution that John Minz has made to Heritage Bank. He has strengthened not only the financial position of Heritage but also the culture and values of the organisation,” Mr Betros said.
“We were also delighted to announce recently that senior banking executive Mr Peter Lock had been appointed to take up the CEO role.
“Mr Lock has extensive experience in the sector and will fit the Heritage culture perfectly.
“We’re looking forward to continuing to grow and prosper under his leadership into the future.”
Mr Lock takes up the new role on Monday, 23 November.