26 August 2022
Mutual financial institutions continue to boast much more satisfied customers than the major banks, highlighting why more Australians should make the switch to a different model of banking, Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock said today.
Mr Lock said customer-owned banks such as Heritage offered credible, strong and viable alternatives to the major banks, with a focus on putting the needs of members first, rather than seeking to maximise profit.
Roy Morgan’s Consumer Banking June 2022 Australia report saw the mutual sector record a 91.6% customer satisfaction rate, while the major banks’ customer satisfaction rate languished far behind at just 77.4%.
Mr Lock said the vastly better customer satisfaction reflected the benefits of a different approach to banking.
“Customer-owned banks like Heritage are driven by a different ethos to the big listed banks,” he said.
“Our focus sits much more clearly on the best interests of our members by providing overall value and personalised experiences, not on generating a financial return to shareholders.
“What motivates us isn’t how much profit we can make. It’s about helping people and making things possible for our members and the community, not only through financial services, but also by supporting local charities, sporting clubs, and community organisations.
“We’re authentic in our approach and are deliberate about making our members our number one focus, which corresponds with higher satisfaction.”
Mr Lock said Heritage Bank’s proposed merger with People’s Choice Credit Union was a compelling opportunity to further encourage the switch to a better way of banking, by creating one of Australia’s largest customer-owned banking organisations and establishing a genuine alternative to the big banks.
“Bringing our two organisations together has the potential to provide us with a greater capacity to compete against the majors through an increased scale, profile and nationwide presence. It also provides an opportunity to redefine mutual banking for generations to come.
“Both of our organisations share a deep commitment to supporting our members and our local communities. We are excited about the opportunity to enhance our product and service offering, and continue our support for community events and initiatives.”
Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) Chief Executive Officer, Michael Lawrence, said community engagement and customer satisfaction is why more than five million Australians choose to bank with a member-owned institution.
“Customer-owned banks are well ahead of the pack when it comes to customer satisfaction due to our leading products, competitive rates, and services with a personal touch,” he said.
“The past six months has seen some big changes in the banking sector, and to see our COBA members so strongly serve their member base demonstrates the value these institutions have beyond dollar figures and rates.”