Teachers Credit Union, which today relaunched itself as Teachers Mutual Bank, has reported a large shift of Western Australian banking customers towards the mutual sector.
Teachers Mutual Bank chief executive Steve James said home loan applications had been on an upwards trend for most of the financial year, and in particular since November, when the big four banks broke ranks with the RBA’s interest rate cycle.
From January to February, the number mortgage holders switching to Teachers Credit Union was up 21 per cent on the previous year.
Sixty per cent of those switchers, Mr James said, were deserting major banks.
“In fact, in WA we have had a 77 per cent increase in home loans against the same period last year,” Mr James said.
Mr James said customers were switching to mutual banks on the basis of better rates and better service.
“Our internal polling showed that the people who are switching to us are not only looking for a better deal, particularly in light of major bank interest rate increases; they are also looking for more personal service and attention,” he said.
“They tell of their experiences at the major banks, being shuffled around the call centre any time they have a query, or kept waiting on hold for long periods.”
Mr James said over 83 per cent of members voted to approve the changeover to Teachers Mutual Bank in November.
He said the bank would have greater opportunity to access more cost effective wholesale funding under the new banner, and also communicate clearly who they are and what they do.
“As a mutual bank we will continue to be dedicated to improving the financial health and well-being of members.”