2019 saw Australia’s mutual banks, building societies and credit unions (the ‘Mutuals’) perform well despite the challenging operating environment which featured sustained competition, increased scrutiny from regulators and increasing pressure on margins. This was coupled with increased investment in people and technology.
The financial services industry is facing unprecedented political, regulatory and media scrutiny. This is compounded by the economic pressures the sector is facing, through competition from the majors, neo-banks and non-bank lenders, impacts of low interest rates and the fall in housing prices in the earlier part of the financial year.
Front of mind for Mutuals in this challenging environment is how best to leverage their member and community-based trust and agility in order to remain resilient in the face of these headwinds, and how to transform the business with a focus on customers’ needs. Successful Mutuals will be those that can balance between, and adapt to, these priorities. This report explores these issues and a number of related topics, aiming to provide insight into what priorities are in the mix for a Mutual when it comes to ‘maintaining trust and transforming for the future’.
Protecting the Mutuals industry from money laundering and terrorism financing – What are the observations and learnings from AUSTRAC's recent report on AML/CTF as it relates to the Mutuals? How can Mutuals respond to the report?
Regulatory Roadmap 2019 – How should Mutuals respond to the significant regulatory and compliance changes? Should they focus on maintaining compliance or innovate their capabilities in order to be a differentiator in the market?
Watch our report contributors speak to their respective observations on the Mutual sector and the broader banking sector overall.