Media Releases

Why more Australians are choosing customer-owned banks


Australians are increasingly choosing customer-owned banks for their mortgages and savings.  Recent data shows the customer-owned banking sector doubled its growth of deposits and housing loans compared to the system in the last 12 months[1], displaying a customer shift towards mutual banks and credit unions.

“Many Australians are drawn to the customer-owned banking sector because they want a bank that offers competitive rates, excellent customer service and has a positive impact on society,” Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) CEO Michael Lawrence said.

75 percent of Australians said they feel most banks prioritise profit over customer service according to research conducted by Pollinate[2]. However, those surveyed said that they believed customer-owned banks offer better and more personalised service.

“Our banks treat their customers like a valued customer, rather than just a number. What gives the customer-owned banking sector that competitive edge is that our 55 member banks and credit unions are incredibly diverse. This means they have a deep understanding of their customers and the communities they serve, which is why they can provide specialised service and products,” Michael explained.

With 55 customer-owned banks to choose from, COBA has developed Find-a-Bank; an online tool which helps Aussies find a purpose-led bank that aligns with their needs and values. For example:

  • Frontline workers can find banks that have a unique understanding of their professions and offer tailored support, services and rates, including Teachers Mutual Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank and Defence Bank.
  • For regional Australians who want to support local, there are a number of banks that focus on serving communities in geographic areas including Geelong Bank, Illawarra Credit Union, Queensland Country Bank and BankWAW.  
  • For those who are looking for banks with a verified positive environmental and societal impact, 8 customer-owned banks are B Corp certified including Bank Australia, Great Southern Bank and Beyond Bank. Customer-owned banks are leading the B Corp movement in banking and are the only deposit banks in Australia to be certified.

[1] Mutual ADI housing loans 9% annual growth vs 4.2% system, and mutual ADI deposits, 7.5% an https://www.apra.gov.au/quarterly-authorised-deposit-taking-institution-statisticsnual growth vs 3.8% system. Source: https://www.apra.gov.au/quarterly-authorised-deposit-taking-institution-statistics

[2] Research conducted by Pollinate on behalf of COBA, 400 Australians in a nationally representative sample were surveyed.

Hear it first

Four times a year we’ll send you helpful banking tips and inspiring stories from our members.