Author: Don Magin

Convention shows how mutuals benefit Australian consumers

This week at our industry association convention our CEO Don Magin was interviewed by ABCTV’s The Business program on the role of mutual financial institutions, competition in financial services and what the current challenges mean for mutuals and Australian consumers.

 This week I attended the ABACUS Convention. This is the annual get together of Australia’s fifth pillar in banking. More than 1,000 people attended the conference from across Australia’s credit unions, building societies, mutual banks and friendly societies. 

 We are a broad family with differences in operation but we have a common bond. We are all customer-owned rather than shareholder owned, and determined to offer competition to the major banks for the benefit on Australian consumers. 

At the conference, Ticky Fullerton, Presenter of ABC TV’s The Business program interviewed Jamie McPhee, CEO of ME Bank and I on the challenges and opportunities facing our sector. You can view the interview and transcript here

One of the key topics at the conference was showing how we are taking it up to the major banks, and what more needs to be done, to break their dominance and offer Australians a real choice in banking.. As I have mentioned in another blog, one of the key roles of ABACUS is making sure that the Government plays its part in ensuring a level playing field in the financial services sector for the benefit of Australians, whether they have a home loans or savings and investment accounts.

Sharing ideas and celebrating excellence is an important thing to do. The other important function of the conference is to help foster the next generation of leaders in our industry through an emerging leaders’ program. I was thrilled and proud that The Greater’s Internal Communications Specialist Emma Avery was at the conference and took out the award for the sector’s emerging leader for 2012. You can read more about Emma and her award here. Fostering young talent is another way we will ensure we continue the fight to break the banks’ dominance and give a fair go for all in banking.   

What else can mutuals do to improve competition in banking? Please share your thoughts below.