Independent KPMG Report recognises strong growth of customer owned banking sector


An independent report by KPMG has found the customer owned banking sector has performed strongly despite the economic headwinds and challenges facing the retail banking market.

The KPMG Mutuals Industry Review 2019 found that mutual banks, credit unions and building societies managed to grow their residential lending by 7.3 per cent and customer deposits by 8.5 per cent in the past year.

The report noted that the strong performance coincided with increased investment in people and technology to streamline operations to continue to meet consumer needs.

It also suggested that the sector must leverage its member and community-based trust and agility to remain resilient to the headwinds facing the retail banking industry.

Customer Owned Banking Association CEO Michael Lawrence said the report was welcome confirmation of the strength of customer first model.

“Australia’s customer owned banking institutions have always existed to put the interests of their customers and the community first.

“The strong performance of Australia’s credit unions, mutual banks and building societies is a clear sign that consumers want to bank with an organisation that puts them first.

“These strong results are impressive when you consider the backdrop of the past year which saw interest rates drop to historic lows, the release of the Financial Services Royal Commission Final Report and a suite of regulatory reforms.

“The report says that in the post-Royal Commission world, the tide seems to be turning in favour of mutuals. However, it notes that the pace and scope of regulatory change is adding complexity and constraining investment in growth.

“We urge regulators, MPs and other policymakers to think twice about adding new laws and regulation and instead focus on enforcing the existing laws.”

A PDF of this media release can be downloaded here.