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Facing hardship together

Customer owned banking institutions have rallied behind their customers and communities during COVID-19. As always, employees on the frontline of support are behind the most personal and inspiring moments of care. COBA is privileged to share a selecton of these stories.

Are you ok?
Unity Bank

At times, support is a heartfelt conversation. Joanna Spencer of Unity Bank recalls helping a senior customer living alone and without family. On most days, Bernard* frequents the Bankstown Sports Club where he is a cherished regular. But a daily reliance on take-away food prompted Joanne to ask if he was aware of other options.

“I told him how my neighbour is a busy school principal who orders Lite N Easy dinners. He asked us to send him some info about Lite N Easy so we did. He said the fact that we called to check in on him, made him feel like he was cared about.”

Unity Bank has proactively contacted customers over the age of 60, starting conversations with a simple question: ‘Are you ok?’

“In the majority of cases, our senior customers appreciate talking to another person, or help with paying bills, which we happily facilitate.”

* Names of customers have been changed to respect privacy.

Survive and thrive
Horizon Bank

On the south coast of NSW, COVID-19 has followed in the wake of devasting bushfires. Teaming up with the local charity, Help Getting Help, Horizon Bank contributed bags and giveaways for the Survive and Thrive campaign.

The Country Women’s Association, Salvation Army, Anglican Church, Aboriginal Land Council, and educational centres nominated the recipients. Within each bag were essential food items and other goodies to bring a smile of appreciation.

“People have been delighted to receive, and to contribute, to an initiative that walks the talk of community,” said Kim Morris of Horizon Bank.

Acts of kindness

In Queensland, RACQ employees are big on little acts of kindness. When speaking with a customer whose partner was hearing impaired and unable to verify their details over the phone to order a new bank card, Ash offered to drop the card access form to the couple after work.

When she returned in the morning to collect the form on the way to work, the appreciative couple had picked flowers from their garden as a ‘thank you’.

girl with flowers

Tears of gratitude
Credit Union Australia (CUA)

As the Local Branch Manager of the Browns Plains branch in southern Queensland, Karen Hughes has been checking in with vulnerable customers. During a recent call, she discovered that a highly respected elder from the community was in hospital with a lung infection.

Karen’s team assisted Joyce with her banking over the phone, taking the worry away. But the team went a step further, choosing to send some flowers to the hospital. When the delivery driver brought the flowers in, Joyce expressed her surprise. No one knew she was in hospital – except for the CUA team.

Joyce called Karen in tears to say thank you.

Standing up to scammers
Geelong Bank

Member Service Officer, Gayle Priddle, took a call from a customer whose mobile phone had been illegally ported by a scammer.

As a result of the scammer gaining access to private information, money had been withdrawn from Susan’s personal and business accounts as well as from the account of an association of which she was the Treasurer.

Susan had only recently lost her husband and was distraught. Gayle arranged for the accounts to be frozen and then accompanied her to the local Victorian Police station to report the fraud the same day.

Gayle and Manager, Michelle Battye, continued to provide both professional and emotional support to Susan who was feeling overwhelmed. Geelong Bank reimbursed all losses and also assisted with the lodging of complaints to the Telecommunications Ombudsman, Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).


Media Contacts

Ashley Penny
Corporate Affairs Manager
P: +61 2 8035 8444
M: +61 431 932 950
Email Ashleycontact-arrow

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