Australian mutuals record another strong year

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KPMG, Australia, have recently released a report Building Societies and Credit Unions 2011 Survey which highlights the strength and vitality of the mutual banking sector in the country.

The KMPG report shows that Australia’s mutuals, credit unions and building societies, have seen another year of strong performance, with the most organisations showing increased profits and balance sheet growth during the year leading up to 30 June 2011.

Mark Degotardi is Head of Public Affairs at Abacus – Australian Mutuals, an ICMIF member and the industry body for credit unions, mutual building societies, mutual banks and friendly societies in Australia. Commenting upon the report Mark says: “KPMG’s report is further confirmation of the Australian mutual banking sector’s record of strong growth, high capital adequacy levels, and very low bad debt costs.

“Our sector’s performance is excellent news for consumers looking for banking that gives more back to them,” Degotardi said.

“The KPMG report shows that credit unions, building societies and mutual banks are providing strong competition and choice in the banking market. Consumers can confidently shop around and see what is on offer beyond the big four banks.

“More and more consumers are now recognising why mutuals lead the market in customer satisfaction. Mutuals exist to serve their customers, not to pursue bigger and bigger profits,” Degotardi said.

KPMG banking partner Martin McGrath said: “The mutuals’ results were strong, particularly in a year when loan growth across the economy has been subdued. To some extent, the performance reflects their members’ loyalty but it may also reflect a greater awareness of the sector following debate about a ‘fifth pillar’ and increased marketing by the sector.”

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