Today, the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) has launched a special anthology – Banking with Purpose: Stories from Australia’s customer-owned banking sector – detailing the community engagement and community value of customer-owned banks across Australia.
It includes stories of initiatives and programs from member banks that demonstrate the sector’s difference in returning profits back to the community and was presented to the Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer in Canberra as part of COBA’s annual Hike the Hill advocacy event.
Hike the Hill is an opportunity for COBA members to communicate the value of customer-owned banks to key political decision-makers and showcase the impact of the sector within their local communities.
The two-day advocacy event with representatives from 22 COBA member banks will feature a banking summit and roundtable discussion plus more than 40 meetings with Senators, Members of Parliament, advisers, Ministers, and Committee Members.
The book was warmly welcomed by Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP and Hon Angus Taylor MP at a reception in Parliament House with 19 other MPs in attendance.
Mike Lawrence, CEO of COBA, said conversations at Hike the Hill are crucial for the sector and this year will focus on the impact customer-owned banks have on their communities and how federal policy can enable to sector.
“Customer-owned banks serve more than five million Australians, and we are committed to communicating the unique and valuable offering they provide to local communities and the broader economy,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Part of this is building an understanding of why customer-owned banks are important and what considerations need to be taken into account when policy or new regulations are introduced that impact them and their customers.
“For many of our members this is the first time they’ve been in front of the new government, and we wanted to leave something behind that is a tangible reminder of how banking can be provided to Australian customers in a way that ensures profits are returned to them in the form of better services and community engagement.”
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