We know the main Australian banks love the status quo. They make a lot of money, provide huge bonuses for staff to buy fast cars and nice houses, and they don't want that to change. However, many, many Australians think they could do a lot better, so they turn to customer-owned banking.
In an attempt to maintain a banker's comfortable lifestyle, plenty of myths abound when it comes to credit unions, mutual banking organisations and building societies. The big banks and their countless sponsors are keen to scare you into staying with your current provider, so they can continue to put up interest rates and siphon off your money by the bucket load.
Mutual banking organisations have a 91.6 per cent customer approval rating, which is much higher than the Big Four (80.4 per cent).
Here are five of the biggest myths and misconceptions around customer-owned banking, and the truth behind the lies:
1) They're too small
Some will tell you that smaller banks don't have the funds to help everyone, meaning you're unlikely to get a home loan. That's patently untrue.
According to the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), these smaller banks have $96.2 billion in assets, making them the fifth largest in the country behind the Big Four. We just don't waste your money on outrageous sponsorship deals!
2) No one you know uses one
If customer-owned banking is so good, why isn't everyone doing it? Well, four million of them are, so it's likely that someone you know is a member.
3) They don't suit my needs
We focus on putting Australian families first, so it's difficult to try and convince people that customer-owned banking does not suit your needs – be they financial or moral. According to COBA, mutual banking organisations have a 91.6 per cent customer approval rating, which is much higher than the Big Four (80.4 per cent).
We strive to offer you exactly what you want and need, so we're sure you'll be happy with the result.
4) There aren't enough ATMs for mutual banks
It's a pretty understandable reason for not choosing to go with a bank that barely has any places to withdraw your money, but that's definitely not the case with these smaller banks.
COBA's research shows that there are 3,643 rediATMs and mutual ATMs around Australia ready for our customers to use, second only in number to Commonwealth Bank (3,822) and much higher than Westpac (3,063) and ANZ (2,606).
5) I can't get the same products
In the interest of fairness, we'll let COBA answer this one.
"The majority of credit unions, mutual banks and building societies offer a full range of personal banking services. Typically, customer owned banking institutions charge less than the major banks in loan interest, while also offering attractive deposit rates on saving investment accounts and 90-day term deposits."
Loans, savings, insurance, superannuation – yep, we've got it all.
So, there it is. If you've been told customer-owned banking isn't for you, it might be worth a second look, because you may have fallen for a myth – or even an outright lie. Do you have any other rumours you'd like clearing up? Give CAPE a call on 1300 330 056.