Sydney-based Community First Credit Union has passed the AU$1bn mark for assets under management (AUM) and is celebrating 12 consecutive years of growth in profits.
The landmark figure follows steady progress for the credit union, whose AUM for 2005 were valued at $397m. Last year it was inducted into the Palladium Group’s Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy. In a shortlist of six companies worldwide, it was the only Australian company.
Chief executive John Tancevski said: “Our sustainable expansion demonstrates confident support from our members. We have backed this up with consistent annual growth across a range of products and services, and this growth is expected to continue rapidly in the current financial year.
“These achievements are all the more remarkable because Community First does not use mortgage brokers, preferring instead to develop a direct relationship with our customers”.
Australia’s sector apex body, the Business Council of Co-operatives and Credit Unions, cited Community First’s “award-winning suite of innovative products” as factors in its success.
- Matrimoney wedding account, which allows engaged couples to request the gift of money electronically instead of presents for their wedding day
- Green loans – low rate loans that can be used for eco-friendly home improvements
- McGrath Pink Visa Credit Card – which sees half the $40 annual card fee donated to the McGrath Foundation to help fund McGrath breast care nurses in communities across Australia.
Mr Tancevski added: “Innovation has remained one of our core strengths as we recognise our customers’ changing needs.
“Community First Credit Union was the first credit union in Australia to launch a smartphone app and we pioneered the use of ‘concept stores’ as a more customer-centric alternative to the traditional bank branch in 2006. We are continuing this leadership today.”
Sustainable growth has also been underpinned by a focus on customer service. This is reflected in Community First Credit Union’s net promoter score of +39.
Mr Tancevski said: “We are extremely competitive on rates and fees, and we are regulated like a bank, so we offer the same level of security. However, we offer a far more intimate interaction with our members, and our service has to be outstanding because we are customer-owned.
“Community First Credit Union gives its members a highly personalised experience, and this is evidenced by our net promoter score of 39+ compared to an average score of -10 among the big banks.”
He added: “Our smaller scale gives us the capacity to provide customers with one-on-one service. We maintain a domestic call centre for instance, so our members know they are dealing with a locally based representative, who readily understands their needs.”