Australia Study Trip Concludes with Credit Union Dialogs
U.S. delegation visits branch locations in Sydney, Melbourne
April 15, 2019
MADISON, Wis.—A World Council of Credit Unions’ delegation of U.S. credit union industry executives wrapped up its week-long Australia Credit Union Study Trip with field visits to six different credit unions—learning about several issues that have impacts at the branch level.
In an April 12 visit to Sydney, the group heard presentations on branding at Qudos Bank and Police Bank. Tony Taylor, CEO of Police Bank, also discussed his organization’s digital innovations and payments system. Australian credit unions have been at the international forefront of developing cutting-edge digital solutions and products for their members.
Officials at Unity Bank and G&C Mutual Bank touched on taxation, legislation and regulation, and cooperative structure and profile. Australian credit unions, cooperatives, mutual banks and building societies are subject to the same strict regulation and high taxation as banks.
On Monday, April 15, the delegation traveled to Melbourne for visits to Bank First and Bank Australia—receiving information on the branding and cooperative profiles of both organizations.
The field visits brought a conclusion to the study trip hosted by executives from Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)—World Council’s member organization in Australia. The trip was designed to be a deep-dive examination of how financial cooperatives there are leading the way in developing innovate digital solutions, while working to overcome regulatory, taxation and branding challenges to grow membership.
“Australian credit unions have had great success in developing innovative digital payment systems to respond to the demands of their members in a highly digital market. This trip gave our delegation a first-hand look at just how important digitization is in providing a broader range of services and attracting new members. They also were able to see how alternative taxation and regulation can impact a nation’s credit union system,” said Brian Branch, President and CEO of World Council of Credit Unions.
Other U.S. credit union industry executives on the study trip included Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President & CEO Jim Nussle, Utah Credit Union League CEO Scott Simpson, Maine Credit Union League CEO Todd Mason, and executives from credit unions and credit union leagues spanning six more states: California, Washington, Oregon, Indiana, Florida and South Carolina.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 85,400 credit unions in 118 countries serve 274 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.