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What does being part of a mutual mean to its members? Members of Macquarie Credit Union can enjoy a number of benefits by choosing to bank with a mutual. Let’s go through just a few of them.
Service and Support: One reason many members choose to join credit unions and mutual banks is for the personalised service they offer. Because of their size, big banks don’t necessarily put their customers first – and if their customers don’t like what they have to offer, their leaving doesn’t have much of an impact. Being smaller, organisations such as Macquarie Credit Union can concentrate on giving customers what they really want, providing one-on-one interaction that may not be on offer with the bigger banks.
A Focus on Members: Big banks are owned by external shareholders, while mutuals are owned by members. Where big banks have to consider those external shareholders, making decisions to please them, mutuals are run solely for the benefit of members. Guided by the Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice, Macquarie Credit Union works to serve members first.
One Member One Vote: Another feature of the mutual structure allows members to have a say in how their organisation is run. As a customer of a big bank, you have no say in what happens day-to-day. But, if you are a member of Macquarie Credit Union, you benefit from the mutual principles of one member one vote, giving you an equal share in the say of the organisation.
Simplicity: One thing you may have noticed when checking out what mutuals have to offer is the simplicity of their offering. Unlike big banks, which tend to have an array of credit cards, loans and other financial products, mutuals like Macquarie Credit Union tend to keep it simple. This can make it easier to see what’s on offer, while also helping you to not get caught up in the extras and ‘wrapping’.
Competitive Pricing: Another feature mutuals offer is competitive pricing. Instead of paying out profits to external shareholders, mutuals can re-invest profits back into the organisation for the benefit of members. That often means providing lower fees and more competitive rates.
Sense of Community: Mutuals such as Macquarie Credit Union often have a strong focus on community. By giving back to the communities they serve, they allow their members to benefit, through community sponsorships, staff volunteering days, charity events and more.
Size: Collectively, credit unions, mutual banks and buildings societies are the fifth largest holder of household deposits in Australia. As of September 2018, the customer owned banking sector had combined on-balance sheet assets of $116 billion, serving more than 4 million members. So, while members can enjoy all the benefits of banking with a smaller institution, that institution is part of something bigger.
Strong Regulation: And while each mutual may be small, it still has to abide by the same rules as the big banks. As an Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI), Macquarie Credit Union meets the same regulatory standards as banks and is regulated under the Banking Act.
Information sourced from http://www.customerownedbanking.asn.au/ (May 2018)
So, now we know what Macquarie Credit Union has to offer, let’s look at where this mutual came from. Back in 1964, Macquarie Credit Union was formed by electricity workers of Macquarie County Council. Over the next few years, the credit union expanded to allow employees of Municipal Councils and employees of hospitals within the Macquarie County Council area to become members.
In the following decades, the credit union saw a merger with the Dubbo Municipal Council Employees Credit Union and the Warren Shire Council Employees Credit Union. Then, in 1996, the Western Area Electricity Departments were merged into Advance Energy, increasing the geographical area from which members could join. This happened again in 2001, when the Northern, Southern and Western NSW electricity departments were merged into Country Energy.
A few years later, Macquarie Credit Union experienced another merger, this time with Dubbo Post-Tel Credit Union, broadening its membership base to Electricity, Council, Health, Post Office and Telstra employees in NSW. Then, in 2013, the various branches of the credit union consolidated its branding and established itself as one entity, Macquarie Credit Union. It was at this point that the constitution was changed to offer membership to everyone in the Dubbo Local Government area, providing wider local support and community involvement.
Finally, in 2016, Macquarie Credit Union changed its constitution again to offer membership to everyone residing in the local government areas of Narromine, Gilgandra, Warren, Cobar, Coonamble, and Nyngan.
As you can see from Macquarie Credit Union’s history, it limits membership to those who work within certain industries and organisations, and those who live within certain geographical regions. You may apply to be a member if you fit within any of the following categories:
If you are unsure if you qualify, contact Macquarie Credit Union direct. Qualify as a member? Check out the Macquarie Credit Union’s credit card offering by clicking on the card’s page.
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