Author: Don Magin

Greater out-performs the big banks but a level playing field will help consumers

In his monthly blog, our CEO Don Magin talks about the service advantage The Greater has over the big banks and how that benefits customers. He also says the upcoming Financial Services Inquiry interim report must address the unfair advantages (some of which are tax payer funded), given to the major banks that ultimately mean consumers lose.  

Giving customers outstanding service is one of the ways The Greater has stood out from the major banks.

My thanks go to our customers and my hard working staff for our recent record breaking achievement in service. The Greater Building Society took out the Roy Morgan monthly Customer Satisfaction Award for Best Building Society in April. This win makes it 16 straight wins in a row, which is a record for any building society.

We have a hard earned advantage over the big banks when it comes to service. Unlike, the big banks, we are owned by our customers rather than shareholders. We don’t have two masters and can use our profits to invest in continuing to provide superior service to our customers.

Unfortunately the big banks have an unfair advantage over The Greater and other customer owned financial institutions. You may have seen the new campaign from the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) highlighting the billions of dollars in subsidies given to Australia’s big four banks, supported by the Australian taxpayer.

With an interim report into Australia’s financial system just weeks away, COBA is rightly questioning the cost to the community of Government guarantees to four of Australia’s most profitable companies. In  last month's blog I talked about some of the other advantages the big banks have and how they can be addressed.

Australians deserve a much more competitive and fair banking system.

The good news for The Greater’s customers is that we are competing hard against the big banks. You can save thousands by switching your home loan to The Greater and right now get yourself a bonus holiday too. As well as good old fashioned service at a branch, we are also a leading mutual financial institution when it comes to online and mobile banking as well as using social media.

The point is that it will get harder for The Greater and others to keep outdoing the banks unless the playing field is leveled. We could deliver even more benefits to customers and give more support to the communities in which we operate if we didn't have one hand tied behind our back.

You can help by switching to a customer owned financial institution such as The Greater. The big four banks can use their dominance in the home loan market (remember they own many sub brands such as St George and RAMS and Aussie), to further reduce competition. You could save some money in the short term and in the long run, and it is easier to switch than you think – we can do it for you.

Speaking of service, The Greater is again sponsoring the Hunter Business Award for Outstanding Customer Service by a Small Business. Good luck to all the finalists. The lucky winner will be announced on August 8.

Please share your thoughts on the issue of the major banks’ unfair advantage or on the topic of giving great service below.

Until next month.