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Championing the customer owned model

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) is the industry advocate for Australia’s customer owned banking sector. Our vision is for COBA to be the recognised, successful and leading advocate for a more competitive retail banking sector and a champion of the benefits of the customer owned model.

The customer owned banking sector has grown significantly over the past year and COBA has been successful in running the consumer-focused 'Own Your Banking' campaign and achieving some big wins for our members. Our video below celebrates our 2017-18 achivements.

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

The customer owned banking sector has combined assets of $131 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

1 November 2018

COBA launches refreshed brand and website

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)


To find out more

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