On behalf of the Board I am pleased to present bankmecu’s 2014 Corporate Report, which covers the financial, social and environmental value we’ve created this year on behalf of our customers who own the Bank.
Judith Downes, Chairman
Damien Walsh, Managing Director
In a challenging low interest rate environment, the Bank delivered an after-tax profit of $25.5 million. This profit allowed us to grow customer owned reserves to $377.2 million.
Profits are reinvested into the Bank to provide competitive interest rates and fees, and quality products and service. In 2014 customers were collectively $22.7 million better off than they would have been banking on average with Australia’s four major banks.1
The Bank’s assets grew by 6.1% to $3.2 billion in 2014, which fell just short of average domestic banking industry growth at 6.7%.
Customers recognised our focus on service, giving us an overall satisfaction rating of 90%. We know some customers with deposits were not satisfied with the current low interest rate environment and this contributed to a 3% dip in the rating from last year. However, our Net Promoter Score, which is a measure of customers who are likely to recommend the Bank, increased to +38% from +16% last year. This is a strong result given the average score for Australia’s major banks was –15.5%.2
Delivering this level of service requires a team of dedicated and professional people and this year staff satisfaction increased from 84% last year to 86%. Their level of commitment to the Bank also rose (up 1 percentage point to 87%).
Social and environmental value
In March 2014 the Bank proudly hosted the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) Annual Conference in Melbourne. It brought CEOs and Directors from the world’s leading values based banks together for a series of private and public discussions about how banking can contribute to ameliorating the world’s intractable social and environmental problems.
We also invested $918,070 (3.6%) of our after-tax profits to support the work of our community sector customers across education, disability, financial inclusion, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community development, conservation, sustainability, and affordable housing.
We continued to develop the Conservation Landbank, our private nature reserve, and ensured our operations remained carbon neutral in 2014.
Customer ownership and recognition
In 2014 we sought new ways to involve customers in the Bank’s decision making. A series of forums on the OurSay.org platform and the bankmecu Central website allowed customers to contribute their thoughts and ideas – and most importantly interact with each other on topics of mutual interest.
We also welcomed members of Swan Hill Credit Union as customers following a merger on 1 June 2014. This merger provides the Bank with a new presence in regional Victoria and an opportunity to engage more closely with the Swan Hill community.
During the year our 2013 Corporate Report won the Australasian Reporting Awards Special Award for Online Reporting – Private; and we won a Cannex Canstar Award for Best Online Banking – Customer Owned Banks.
The year ahead
We are looking to the year ahead with great optimism, while recognising the continuing low interest rate environment will again place pressure on interest margins.
This year we renewed our Strategic Plan to give the Bank clarity of purpose for the coming years. We set ourselves a more ambitious growth target and will focus on attracting a group of diverse, socially aware consumers while continuing to respond to the needs of existing customers.
We will continue to invest in the business, our technology platforms and our ability to create a simple and personal customer experience that is seamless across our digital and physical touch points. Work is also progressing on bolstering our risk management framework, which is core to fulfilling our responsibilities as the stewards of customers’ funds.
Growth is important because it provides the Bank with scale, which brings efficiencies as well as opportunities for staff and customers. It also allows us to have a greater positive social and environmental impact across the communities where we operate.
I would like to thank all customers, Directors, management and staff for their contribution and support of bankmecu over the past 12 months.
1 bankmecu’s Cannex Valuation Report, June 2014.
2 Roberts, Chris, Australian Banking NPS Results, September 18 2014.