Customer-owned banking sector outpaces major banks

Michael Lawrence

Michael Lawrence

APRA’s quarterly banking figures indicate that customers have faith in the customer-owned banking sector.

“Given the damage to the reputation of the broader banking sector due to misconduct exposed by the Financial Services Royal Commission, customers are looking for banking institutions they can trust,” said COBA CEO Michael Lawrence.

“APRA’s latest numbers show that customer owned banking institutions outpaced the major banks and the broader banking sector in growth in housing loans and deposits on both an annual and quarterly basis.

“This shows that customers want an alternative that puts them first.

“That is what our customer-owned model seeks to live up to every day in our mutual banks, credit unions and building societies,” Lawrence said.

APRA’s June 2018 quarterly ADI Performance Statistics also show that:

  •  total assets in the customer owned banking sector have surpassed $113 billion
  • the sector’s total housing loans reached nearly $85 billion – collectively the fifth largest housing book in Australia
  • the sector’s total deposits reached nearly $97 billion – collectively the fifth largest deposits pool in Australia, and
  • the sector made pre-tax profit of $677 million in 2017-18 and paid $199 million in company tax.

“Our sector’s net profit after tax of $479 million is put back to work for our customers by underpinning the sector’s strength and future growth,” Lawrence said.

“We are profit-making but not profit-maximising. We are not trying to squeeze our customers to please shareholders. We are not perfect but we are not conflicted about who we are working for.

“The need for genuine customer choice in banking has never been more important, with the House of Representatives Economics Committee this month finding that:

  • trust in Australia’s financial sector has been eroded by a corporate culture in some institutions that places profit before customers and sales before service
  • the reputation of Australia’s banking and financial system has been damaged by shocking examples of misconduct, in particular by the four major banks and AMP, and
  • evidence provided to the Royal Commission has exposed parts of the financial sector as having a corporate culture motivated by greed and lacking in moral leadership.”

COBA table

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