Responsible banking –

Purpose, position and brand.

Goal one: Achieve vision

Vision and values

Organisational profile

What is a customer-owned bank?

Why choose a customer-owned bank?

mecu Limited is a mutually owned unlisted public company limited by shares and is registered with Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA). bankmecu holds an Australian Financial Service Licence, Credit Licence and is an Approved Deposit-Taking Institution (ADI).

bankmecu’s core business is retail banking. In addition, bankmecu has agreements in place with a number of organisations to provide a range of financial, insurance and ancillary products and services to its customers. These include:

  • VISA debit and credit cards
  • remote banking payment products and services including BPAY and bank@Post
  • foreign currency
  • general insurance
  • life and health insurance; and
  • financial planning.

bankmecu serves the finance needs of Australian consumers as well as a growing number of community sector and government organisations through a network of service centres, a national call centre and a range of remote on-line banking services.

bankmecu customers include both individuals and organisations from a number of communities including:

  • geographic
  • education
  • science
  • energy
  • government; and
  • the community sector.

The majority of bankmecu customers reside in the state of Victoria. A geographic breakdown of all customers is available here.

mecu Limited’s subsidiary Ed Credit Services Pty Ltd is the Trustee for a Unit Trust that provides operational leases to schools. bankmecu is the sole beneficiary of the Unit Trust and the Trust reports directly to bankmecu

bankmecu’s philosophy

bankmecu strives to embed good governance and economic, social and environmental accountability across all aspects of its operation and to make it the responsibility of all employees from the Board of Directors to all staff.

bankmecu is guided by international cooperative principles and has committed itself to operate within the following principles:

  • open and voluntary customer-ownership
  • productive and competent democratic control and accountability
  • non-discrimination
  • distribution of benefit consistent with participation
  • financial viability
  • customer benefit
  • ongoing education
  • cooperation between cooperatives; and
  • social and environmental responsibility.
Vision: what we aim to achieve

As Australia’s first customer-owned bank, bankmecu is inspired to enhance the economic wellbeing of its customers in responsible ways.

Purpose: what we do

bankmecu will provide its customers with value for money, responsible banking, insurance and financial planning solutions, as well as memorable, superior service in a profitable and sustainable way.

Values: how we earn people’s trust

bankmecu will:

  • treat its customers with dignity and respect
  • value, encourage and support its employees
  • operate ethically and with integrity
  • apply prudent financial and business practices; and
  • be economically, environmentally and socially responsible.
Brand: what we want to be known for

bankmecu will be regarded as the pre-eminent customer-owned banking brand in Australia.

bankmecu will be considered a challenger brand representing thought leadership in responsible banking and cooperative enterprise.

How we are different

The bank is different in two significant ways:

  1. Customer ownership. bankmecu is owned by its customers. It exists to serve its customers. As owners of the Bank its customers have an equal say in how the Bank conducts its business on their behalf and for their benefit. As well as receiving the products and services offered by the Bank, these same customers help shape the decisions the Bank makes. bankmecu is accountable to its customers.
  2. Profits are owned by customers. bankmecu trades sustainably and aims to generate responsible levels of profit. However, rather than rewarding external investors, bankmecu’s profits are owned by its customers. Reinvesting the Bank’s profits back into the Bank helps ensure it remains strong, competitive, independent and ensures the Bank conducts business more responsibly and with a long-term vision. This model creates a generational shift in wealth. It provides for the future rather than focuses on short-term gain. The model resists a sense of entitlement where current generations might seek to crystalise the wealth accumulated by prior generations.

Why bank with bankmecu ? 

Growth/profitability/capital planning matrix

Planning matrix

In achieving its vision bankmecu aims to maintain its growth/profitability/capital planning matrix as its minimum level of performance. bankmecu’s performance risk matrix framework ensures strength, discipline, relevance, accountability, compliance, risk management and survival.


ROE Return on equity
BBSW Bank bill swap rate
RBA Reserve Bank of Australia
D1 Growth in selected financial aggregates (Credit growth covering banks, other ADIs and non-ADIs and including securitisation)
D3 Monetary aggregates (ADI deposit growth, excluding currency held by the private non-bank sector and excluding certificates of deposit issued by banks)

Performance against bankmecu’s planning matrix can be found through the links provided.

Organisational changes

During the reporting period, bankmecu became Australia’s first customer-owned bank. mecu Limited’s decision to become a bank in September 2011 was a strategic response to the dominance of Australia’s four major banks. Research to indicate customer-owners supported a change of name as long as bankmecu remained firmly committed to its cooperative principles. bankmecu formerly traded as a credit union – mecu.

bankmecu closed one service Centre on 1 July 2011 in Colac due to lack of business growth in this area. bankmecu carefully considers the use of customer-owned funds to continue operating service centres. The closure was deemed a responsible approach to managing funds on behalf of bankmecu customers, as it removed an unbalanced cross-subsidisation. A similar decision has been made to close the Kerang service centre on 2 November 2012.

Kensington service centre will be relocating to a new service centre in Melbourne central business district on 16 November 2012

A full list of current bankmecu service centres is available here.

There were no significant changes to the operations of Ed Credit Services Pty Ltd during the reporting period.