Consumers ditching the ‘Big Four’ leads to record deposits for customer owned banking sector


The customer owned banking sector is growing faster than the overall banking sector as 12 months of Royal Commission hearings take their toll on Australia’s investor owned banks.

New data released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority shows that over the past 12 months Australian consumers are ditching the ‘Big Four’ in favour of customer owned banking institutions.

Data for year on year growth has shown that customer owned banking institutions have grown their total housing loan book by 8.1 per cent compared to 4.5 per cent for authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and 3.7 per cent for the ‘Big Four’.

Consumers are also choosing to switch their general banking services with deposits growing year on year by 6 per cent for the customer owned banking sector compared to just 2.1 per cent for the ‘Big Four’ and 3.2 per cent for all ADIs.

The deposit growth has seen the customer owned banking sector break its previous records and now hold more than $100 billion in deposits. The customer owned banking sector is the fifth largest holder of household deposits outside the ‘Big Four’.

The figures and growth rates are detailed in Table 1 below.

Customer Owned Banking Association CEO Michael Lawrence said the data showed that Australians were beginning to take control of their banking, but more needed to be done to make it easy for people to switch banks.

“This data shows that Australians want banking institutions that put them first and their willing to switch institutions to get it.

“After 12 months of scandalous hearings into banking misconduct and poor practices, it’s no surprise that our sector has seen growth rates like these.

“These figures will be a wake-up call for the ‘Big Four’ and make them reconsider how they treat their customers.

 “While it’s a positive sign that many Australians are seeking out alternatives to the ‘Big Four’, more needs to be done to make it easier for people to switch their banks.

“By making switching banks easier the ‘Big Four’ will be put on notice by their customers to either shape up or risk losing them to customer owned banking institutions that put their interests first.

“Australian consumers should visit to see how a customer owned banking institution can put them first.”

Table 1: Growth across Mutual ADIs, ‘Big Four’ and All ADIs


Mutual ADIs

Big Four

All ADIs


Dec 2017

Dec 2018

Year on Year (YOY)



Gross loans and advances






Total housing






Total assets












Source: COBA calculations based on APRA’s December 2018 Quarterly ADI Performance Statistics

The PDF can be downloaded pdfhere.

For more information please contact:

Mick Gibb
Corporate Affairs Manager
0423 149 494
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Customer Owned Banking Association is the industry body for mutual banks, credit unions and building societies. Visit