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Putting passion to work

STATEWEST chief executive officer Greg Wall is a passionate man who enjoys empowering others with his enthusiasm.

“We’re trying to create an environment where the members feel a sense of belonging, and to achieve this staff need to feel a sense of belonging,” Mr Wall said.

Service, or care, has emerged as a major point of difference in the battle between the banks and the non-banking financial institutions in WA, he said.

StateWest was formed in 1995 following the merger of two WA credit unions, with members from both the State and Federal public sectors.

It’s a shamelessly parochial organisation driven by the be-lief that there’s real demand for a viable alternative to the traditional banks. The growth strategy for StateWest is also firmly grounded in the State.

“Our focus is purely WA, we are not attempting to market ourselves to anywhere else,” Mr Wall said.

“We think there is a market for a strong, credible alternative to the banks.

“I think to try and drive the business growth of a small institution (such as a credit union) in the eastern states is fraught with danger.

“We’re in the process of merging with Health Credit … by the end of the year we will have $550 million on the balance sheet.

“Growth needs to be grounded in a sound business strategy, it needs to add value. We can’t just have growth for growth’s sake.”

StateWest is the second largest credit union in WA and has a strong professional profile.

The merger with Health Services Credit Union will continue StateWest’s growth, adding a further 19,000 members.

StateWest has worked hard to develop and nurture its member profile and to differentiate itself in what is an increasingly competitive market.

“I think it’s important that we’re not all things to all people,” Mr Wall said.

“We’re obviously trying to attract the general public but our profile is very much professionals.

“Members have a very strong affiliation with the brand and we are now finding a very strong awareness of StateWest in the community.”

Research into the brand profile had revealed that it sat alongside the larger non-bank brands in terms of recognition, he said.

“The perception of the brand is one of quality,” Mr Wall said.

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