Credit unions are pushing to be known as banks both inside and outside the financial services industry.
Mutuals industry body Abacus has recently been canvassing both the labor and liberal parties about changing the Banking Act to replace the words “authorised deposit-taking institution” (ADI) with “authorised banking institution” (ABI).
The new term would then be used by mutuals in advertising campaigns.
Abacus chief executive Louise Petschler said the ADI term used by regulators meant nothing to everyday Australians.
“Anyone outside financial services has no idea what an ADI is. It sounds like a part for a computer,” she said.
According to Ms Petschler, the new term would help mutuals address misconceptions that they are not as safe as banks.
“We meet the same high standards of prudential regulation as banks with full regulatory oversight by APRA, the prudential regulator,” a statement by Abacus read.
As a group, credit unions and mutual building societies are the fifth largest deposit gathering force after CBA, Westpac ANZ and NAB, with an 11.5 per cent market share.