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Financial services built on integrity

The Customer Owned Banking Association is the industry advocate for Australia’s customer owned banking sector.  It is owned by its 66 member institutions: 44 credit unions, 2 building societies, 19 mutual banks and 1 other; and a number of affiliate members.

Customer owned banking aims to challenge the dominance of the major banks across the country. 

The customer owned banking sector has combined assets of $111 billion, offering Australians a competitive alternative to banks and access to a range of savings, investment, loan and insurance products. Unlike banks, profits are not paid to external shareholders, but put back into better products and services for customers and their local communities.

The industry association will be a strong public advocate, pushing for more banking competition and a fairer operating system to help our industry challenge big bank market dominance. 

COBA provides representation and advocacy for its members to:

  • federal and state governments;
  • regulators, such as APRA and ASIC;
  • the media;
  • industry and consumer groups; and
  • the general public and other stakeholders.

It also provides member institutions with expert advisory and support services, such as fraud & financial crimes and research.

Our history

4 December 2017 Michael Lawrence commences as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Customer Owned Banking Association

1 July 2013 Launch of new association name - Customer Owned Banking Association

1 July 2009 Abacus – Australian Mutuals becomes a public company limited by guarantee and owned by member institutions

1 July 2006 The Credit Union Industry Association (CUIA) and the Australia Association of Permanent Building Societies (AAPBS) merge to form a new joint industry association, the Association of Building Societies and Credit Unions (Abacus – Australian Mutuals)


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