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With a vision to be Australia's leading people focused bank, Bank of Sydney’s mission is to build long-lasting relationships with its customers through its various products, services and its people. But, that’s not all. This is a bank that’s dedicated to assisting the communities it serves. It prides itself on its commitment to diversity, inclusiveness and education, which can be seen through its record of supporting local initiatives across a variety of sectors.
As an Australian deposit-taking institution, the bank is, of course, regulated in the same way as all the big banks in Australia that you see every day. That also means, as a customer, you can enjoy the protection that comes with banking with an ADI, which includes a Government Guarantee on your deposits up to $250,000. While this may not affect you as a credit cardholder with Bank of Sydney, if you decide to move your everyday banking here, it pays to know who you are banking with.
If you’ve not heard much about Bank of Sydney, don’t feel bad. It’s only been around in its current form for a short while. Prior to a re-brand in 2013, Bank of Sydney was known as Beirut Hellenic Bank. Owned by Bank of Beirut, Lebanon’s biggest bank, Beirut Hellenic Bank chose to re-brand to Bank of Sydney to broaden its appeal and adopt a more local identity.
Why Bank of Sydney? According to the bank’s chairman Nicholas Pappas, the name change was intended to reflect Sydney’s role as a finance capital, saying, ‘‘We think that it sends out a very strong message about the sort of robust financial services institution that we are trying to be here.” He continued, “Obviously the name speaks for itself. It’s the financial centre of Australia, it’s the largest city in Australia, and it’s probably also the multicultural capital of Australia,’’
When the bank re-branded, its customer base was focused on Australians of Lebanese and Greek background. With the desire to tap into a wider customer base, the change of name to Bank of Sydney was part of a strategy to target ‘multicultural Australia’ as a whole. With many banks in Australia using their geographical location as an identity – think Bank of Queensland, Bank of Melbourne, Bank of New South Wales – it’s easy to see where they were coming from.
And Bank of Beirut? This Lebanese lender is still the parent company for Bank of Sydney. Its roots go back to the 1960’s, and it has a presence within the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Australia.
While we focus on credit cards here at CreditCard.com.au, we still take an interest in what each provider has to offer in the form of other financial products and services. In some cases we find applying for more than one product with the same provider can offer discounts or other perks, which is why it’s a good idea to see what’s on offer before you apply.
It seems Bank of Sydney is an award-winner within a range of categories. Its Term Deposit (online) and Everyday Saver were awarded the nation’s best-value deposit accounts at the 2019 Mozo Experts Choice Awards thanks to their competitive interest rates and no monthly service fees. This placed the products within the top 10% of the market, rated for delivering exceptional benefits to customers around Australia.
This award came not long after the bank enjoyed recognition at Money magazine’s Best of Best awards, picking up wins within the ‘Cheapest Home Loan Package – Bank’ category for its ‘Expect More Variable – Package only $100k+’, as well as for its ‘Best Term Deposit Short Term – Bank’.
And its credit cards? While its credit cards may not be award-winners yet, they may gain their own recognition within the industry given time. The bank focuses its attentions on two cards, with one classic card and one platinum card. As you would expect, the classic card is a card that offers low rates and a low annual fee, providing cardholders with access to credit, with a few select features thrown into the mix, including the opportunity to earn cashback rewards.
Offering more in the form of perks, the platinum offering from Bank of Sydney would appeal to cardholders wanting to earn even more back on their credit card spending. This includes cashback credited directly into the cardholder’s linked Bank of Sydney savings account, access to ‘priceless’ experiences through Mastercard’s Priceless Cities, and concierge services via Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services, as well as overseas travel insurance.
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