A customer owned bank is 100% owned by its customers unlike other banks who are owned by a smaller group of shareholders (who may or may not be customers). First and foremost, we are accountable to our customers and we put them first.
While bank shareholders reap dividends from profits, we return benefits to our customers in the form of better interest rates and lower fees. In 2011, bankmecu customers would have been $31m worse off if their savings, investments and loans were with the major banks.
The origins of financial cooperatives, also known as "people's banks" can be traced back to Europe in the year 1852, when a group of pioneering social entrepreneurs responded to the need of poor rural communities who couldn’t access affordable finance.
Since this time people banks or credit unions have spread throughout the world. Today there are more than 46,000 credit unions operating in 97 countries providing a different kind of banking to over 197 million people and managing in excess of AUD $1.2 trillion in assets.