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Heritage calls for education on mutual banks

by Malavika Santhebennur4 minute read
Heritage calls for education on mutual banks

The mutual bank has urged the federal government to educate borrowers about the sector’s offering by supporting a marketing and advertising campaign.

Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock has said that he feels it is “disappointing” that many banking consumers in Australia do no fully understand the difference between the listed bank model and the mutual model.

Mr Locke quoted research commissioned by Heritage in 2018 that showed that around 59 per cent of people surveyed were not sure what a customer-owned bank was.

“When people understand how the customer-owned model works, they also understand why it delivers so many benefits,” Mr Locke said.

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“However, there is confusion out there about how customer-owned banks are different. Everyone in this sector is doing their bit to educate people about how our model is different, but we are up against the deeper marketing pockets of the big banks.

“A simple way to promote greater competition in the banking sector is for the federal government to do more to educate people about how the customer-owned model works and why it is different to the listed bank model.”

Mr Locke suggested that the government should support a marketing and advertising campaign.

“It’s simply about helping understand the different banking models in operation in Australia,” he said.

“That awareness is the critical first step in creating a more informed choice for Australia’s banking consumers.

Heritage quoted research from the most recent Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction survey results for May, in which mutual banks filled the top five positions in Australia.

The Roy Morgan research showed that satisfaction of Australian banks has improved across the board amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mutual banks have continued to hold an edge in customer satisfaction, up 0.7 percentage points from a year ago to 89.2 per cent, according to the research.

Commenting on the results, Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said: “Satisfaction was up for Australia’s four major banks, mutual banks and the mutual sector as a whole, including credit unions and building societies.

“The quick reaction of Australia’s financial institutions to extend support for their customers during this period has been a big help for many who have been put into financial hardship through no fault of their own.”

[Related: Heritage appoints head of business to spearhead expansion]

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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur

AUTHOR

Malavika Santhebennur is a content specialist at Momentum Media, focusing on mortgages and finance writing.

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