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Jump on Board the Credit Union Movement!

Does your financial institution really have your best interest at heart?

If you get passed from person-to-person a lot, are not provided with clear explanations of important information or your institution invests in projects that harm the environment, then the answer is Probably Not!

Look, this can be an undesirable part of the finance industry but some of us just accept it and continue to bank with the same institution, even if our money is being used to fund projects that don't align with our values or expectations.  But if you stopped and thought about it, would you consider an alternative?

Credit Union, Hello!

In Australia, the Credit Union Movement has been around since 1945 and was started by people, like you and I, who became frustrated with the banks of the time. They developed a co-operative system for banking where people helped each other to grow their businesses by lending and borrowing from each other, recycling any profits back into improving the system and outcomes for each other.  This is also where Mutual Banks and Building Societies began.

Right now these institutions are being used by more than 4 million customers in Australia, whilst still working under a customer owned model, focusing on getting the best outcomes for their customers and recognising their impact on the wider community.  Would you agree, that with recent controversies in banking and finance, the need for services that have customers' needs at the centre of decision making is more relevant now than ever before?

So Why do People Still Use Banks?

There is a widely held perception that customer owned banking hasn't kept pace with the product and service offerings of the big banks.  In addition to this, 'He who shouts loudest gets heard!'. With marketing budgets that pale in comparison to the major banks, customer owned banking has found it difficult to be heard in the noisy world of advertising and promotion.

Okay, so What's Changed?

Over the past few years, and especially recently, making the switch to customer owned banking has gathered momentum for two major reasons:

  1. Accessibility and Technology Many Credit Unions have recognised the need for and caught up with essential technology including Netbanking and Mobile Apps.

  2. Awareness Grassroots movements aimed at shining a light on the activities of all financial institutions have intensified and with social media, more people than ever can see what their institution is doing. This allows for better informed decision making when choosing who to bank with. Think Adani, or the selling of unsuitable Consumer Credit Insurance. Oops! 

Making a Difference

Let's face it. Making the decision to switch banks can often be low on your priority list, but ask yourself Why? Why? Why? Choosing where you bank does have a real impact on you and your community and the power is in your hands!

So if you do find yourself asking what can I do? Pick up the phone and get on board the Credit Union Movement!

If you like reading, here are some other resources on this topic:
Market Forces: https://www.marketforces.org.au/
Customer Owned Banking Association: http://www.customerownedbanking.asn.au/ 

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