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A helping hand

We’re always delighted to hear stories of where customer owned banking institutions have gone above and beyond to help out their customers or communities. Not because it is in their job description, but as a part of our sector’s DNA and heritage. We are proud to have these people and organisations as part of the customer owned banking community.

This month hear some stories from the everyday heroes at Newcastle Permanent, People’s Choice and Summerland.

CROP Helping Hand

Newcastle Permanent

A chance encounter with kindness

When Ashlee Anderson arrived at work early one morning, she found an elderly woman crying in the parking lot. “She was lost and needed to get money from her account at a competitor bank to buy groceries, but the branch was closed due to COVID-19.
The woman was very distressed, and I don’t like seeing people sad or struggling”, explained Ashlee. “I have always been taught to help others in need and it was my natural instinct to help.”

Ashlee went with the woman to get groceries and then drove to another branch of the financial institution so she could withdraw her money, before dropping her home and helping her to get settled. “All I could think about was my nana and I would want someone to help her in the same situation”.

Having worked at Newcastle Permanent for 12 years, being customer focused is Ashlee’s favourite part of the job. “I have always valued working here and doing things differently. I love making people smile. That smile can make someone’s day”.

Newcastle Permanent’s focus is to provide market-leading products and services for their customers, and to look after their community. Their slogan, “Here for good”, reflects who they are. Because they don’t have shareholders, they return all their profits to their customers and their regional communities through better interest rates, competitive fees and financial support through their community involvement and sponsorship program.

People’s Choice Credit Union

No barriers to ability

Ann Clifford, branch manager at People’s Choice Gawler, says they genuinely care about their members and want to make things as easy as possible for them, especially in challenging times. So, when they received a message from a disability accommodation support service thanking them for personally ringing one of their clients to explain their COVID-19 procedures, it really meant a lot to them. Coming from someone who’s just as passionate about supporting others as they are, proves that it’s not just lip service. “Our team is exceptional at getting to know the people that come to us and work to understand what is important to them and their business.” This member thanked them for their “exceptional” service, but for the staff at People’s Choice Gawler, it’s just business as usual.

People’s Choice Credit Union started in 1949 and has grown to become one of Australia’s largest and most respected credit unions. Their impressive list of customer satisfaction awards is a testament to the fact that they truly live up to their name of the People’s Choice.


Banking on a break

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, an elderly couple walked into the Bungalow branch of Summerland wearing yellow goggles, facemasks and gloves. Sue was on her way to a lunch break but sensed that this couple needed comfort and support, so she immediately offered to assist them. It turned out the couple made a special trip into town to open bank accounts – Sue helped them with various products for their needs and also assisted them with online banking. The couple deposited a large sum of money with Summerland. “We really appreciate the fact that we weren’t judged on our appearance and that Sue spent extra time to listen to us and to help us.” Sue just shrugs it off: “Helping people is what I love to do. It’s why I’m working at Summerland. It’s part of their philosophy as much as it’s part of mine.”

Summerland’s mission is to give their customers friendly, personal service, and expert financial solutions. They’re community-based and defined by mutuality: they’re owned by their customers, run by their customers and everything they do is for the ultimate benefit of their customers.


Media Contacts

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

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