What is a customer owned bank?
Customer owned banking is a bank that is owned entirely by its customers rather than by public shareholders. Profits from customer owned banking are invested back into products and services to offer a better banking experience for customers.
Do customer owned banks offer the same products and services as other banks?
Customer owned banks can offer all the same services as the banks that report to shareholders.
Whether it be home loans, personal loans, credit cards or insurance, a customer owned bank can deliver each product. However, the difference is that any revenue from fees or interest is used to improve products and services for the customer, or is reinvested back into the communities a customer owned bank calls home.
Greater Bank is a customer owned bank, focused on utilising our profits to deliver competitive rates, lower fees, responsible lending practices, and better customer service.
What is a publicly listed bank?
Publicly listed banks are listed on the stock exchange and are not customer owned. Publicly listed banks let any member of the public (even if they are not customers) purchase shares of stock in their institution that can then be traded on the stock exchange.
This process means that the bank’s shareholders will have vested interests in how the banks operate, and how much profit the bank makes. This can often lead to the bank’s objectives being focused on revenue rather than customer satisfaction and better products and services.
How do bank shareholders operate?
In a publicly listed bank, the more shares a shareholder owns, the more say they have into how the bank operates. This means that those with the most amount of shares have a greater say over the bank's direction.
However, with customer owned banking, each customer is allotted one vote in a democratic system, which gives the customer more of a say in their bank’s future.
What is the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)?
The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) is the Australian industry advocate for customer owned banks. COBA represents credit unions, building societies and mutual banks in Australia. To be recognised by the association you must comply with the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice.
COBA aims to challenge industry standards and generate more focus on the customer and the community. Greater Bank is proud to be a member of COBA, which is driven to support the customer, not the shareholder. The number one focus for customer owned banks is building trust with their customers, supporting their community and providing the best products and services possible.