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As a smaller bank, Greater Bank prides itself on providing the customer service and support that customers of bigger banks may find hard to come by. For Greater Bank, service is key. The bank says, “As long as you keep loving what we do, we’ll keep doing what we love”. Its friendly staff are continuously recognised for their genuine, caring service, as you can see from the bank’s multitude of awards.
Greater Bank is not owned by external shareholders. It is owned by its customers. Where other banks have to put their shareholders first, as a customer-owned bank Greater Bank can put its customers first. So, instead of providing profit to create shareholder dividends, it can re-invest its profits to offer more value to its customers.
By checking out the range of financial products Greater Bank has to offer, you may notice that its fees are lower and its rates are more competitive than other bigger bank options. This is generally what customer-owned banks offer: better value for their customers.
But, that’s not all. Greater Bank is also able to allocate a certain percentage of its annual profits towards supporting causes and organisations that improve the lives of those in the communities it serves.
Back in 2011, Greater Bank formed the Greater Charitable Foundation to support charities and make a long term difference to families and communities. So far, the Foundation has allocated close to $5 million to charities, and Greater Bank staff regularly volunteer to support the amazing work of the Foundation’s partners.
Greater Bank has been recognised time and again for its excellent products and services, most recently being awarded Most Recommended Customer Owned Bank for 2019 in the DBM Australian Financial Awards.
Aside from being recognised as Home Lender Bank of the Year 2019 by Mozo’s Experts Choice, and Home Lender of the Year 2018 by Money magazine, Greater Bank has in previous years been recognised as Bank of the Year in Roy Morgan’s Customer Satisfaction Awards, and Building Society of the Year in the Smart Investor Blue Ribbon Awards.
Greater Bank faces the same rules and processes as the big banks, and is regulated by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). However, as a customer-owned bank, Greater Bank is also a member of the Customer Owned Banking Association, and complies with the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice.
Governed by the Code Compliance Committee (CCC), this code gives customers the confidence of knowing they are covered by an industry commitment to fair and responsible banking.
In 1924, the Newcastle and Hunter River Public Service Starr-Bowkett Building Co-operative Society Limited was established. While it may have been something of a mouthful, this was the organisation that was later to become what is now known as Greater Bank.
Formed in response to economic depression, when owning a home was out of reach for many, the society was created to bring home ownership at the lowest cost to its members. Members of the society bought shares and made weekly contributions, and a lottery would determine which members received interest free home loans.
From there, into the 1940s, the Greater Newcastle Co-operative Permanent Building and Investment Society was formed, to then bring other credit unions and building societies into the fold. Growing in size and expanding its customer base over the decades, the Greater Building Society finally changed its name to Greater Bank in 2016, but still retained its customer-owned status and goal of helping customers save, grow and protect their money.
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