Illustration of someone handing money to a large hand

With over four million Australians today entrusting their money to mutual banks, customer satisfaction ratings rising (91.6% in June 2022, Roy Morgan), and membership growing, it’s clear that the sector is doing something right when it comes to attracting, nurturing and growing a loyal customer base.

Undoubtedly contributing to success is the convergence of more Australians choosing to buy from and invest with organisations consciously committed to positive impact, with the ability of mutual banks to authentically respond, own and engage around this proposition to an extent that the big banks can’t.

Take for example, Bank Australia. In 2015 it challenged itself to become Australia’s leading customer owned responsible bank. It launched an ambitious rebranding and repositioning campaign, targeting environmentally and socially conscious consumers, backed by a $9M annual marketing spend.

Identifying itself as an agent for change, the campaign elevated Bank Australia’s offering above pure product and service benefits, to a higher purpose - with results. The bank rose to become Australia’s fourth “most trusted bank” (Roy Morgan), while assets and deposits grew by 17% and 12%, respectively (FY21/22).

Similarly, Teachers Mutual Bank has put ethics and innovation front and fore with strong success. Nichole Banks, Chief Marketing Officer, explains: “We believe that the future of banking is both digital and ethical and we’re proud to be leading the way”

Critically, Teachers Mutual Bank has the goods to back up the “good” claims. Investing in some of the highest standards in ESG and recognised as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for a tenth year in a row (Ethisphere Institute), it delivers on its promises to an increasingly ethically conscious and savvy consumer.

So, while banks across the board are busy expanding ESG commitments, the fact that “giving back” and enabling customers to be part of that legacy is fundamental to the DNA of mutual banks, creates a huge competitive advantage in an increasingly noisy market.

With four in five Australians today expecting their money to be invested responsibly (RIAA), ethics and accountability will only keep moving up the agenda – a lesson that applies across sectors and industries. As Australia's mutual banks clearly demonstrate, those who harness and communicate evidence-based impact across channels and touchpoints, will undoubtedly keep winning both the hearts and wallets of consumers.

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Chris Crammond

Managing Partner 02 8917 7900

Matt Griffin

Chief Executive 02 8917 7900