Country bank and credit union on the rise

Warwick Credit Union among the customer-owned banks on the rise.

As dissatisfaction with traditional banks grows, more Australians are turning to customer-owned banks like Warwick Credit Union and Queensland Country Bank, Stanthorpe Branch for their financial needs.

Recent data reveals a significant uptick in deposits and housing loans within the customer-owned banking sector, signalling a shifting preference among consumers.

According to recent figures, the customer-owned banking sector has doubled its growth in deposits and housing loans compared to the broader banking system over the past 12 months.

A survey conducted by Pollinate found that 75 per cent of Australians believe most banks prioritise profit over customer service. In contrast, respondents expressed confidence in customer-owned banks, citing their reputation for offering competitive rates and superior customer service.

Michael Lawrence, CEO of the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), attributes the appeal of customer-owned banks to their commitment to customer satisfaction and community impact.

“Our banks treat their customers like a valued customer, rather than just a number,” Mr Lawrence said.

“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,” he said.

To facilitate consumer choice, COBA has launched Find-a-Bank, an online tool that helps individuals find a purpose-led bank aligned with their values. Despite misconceptions, customer-owned banks are open to all Australians, regardless of profession or location, offering accessible and inclusive banking solutions.

Regulatory bodies such as APRA and ASIC hold customer-owned banks to the same rigorous standards as major banks, ensuring financial stability and consumer protection.

However, the distinguishing feature of customer-owned banks lies in their reinvestment of profits into customer-centric initiatives and community support.

“Customer-owned banks are centred on helping customers and the communities they serve. Time and time again, they have proven that a customer-first focus delivers better outcomes for customers and communities,” Mr Lawrence said.

Roy Morgan research underscores the trustworthiness of customer-owned banks, with these institutions collectively earning the highest level of consumer trust in the banking sector.

Recognition for customer-owned banks’ commitment to excellence came in April, with P&N Bank named Bank of the Year in the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards and People’s Choice named Home Lender of the Year in the Mozo Expert Choice Awards.

To find a customer-owned bank that suits your needs and values, head to