Royal Commission, Regulation Serve as Day Two Focus

Australia's Customer Owned Banking Association makes presentations to U.S. delegation

Source: Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)

April 10, 2019

MELBOURNE, Aus.—Australia’s regulatory and legislative environment was the topic of focus Wednesday for a delegation of U.S. credit union industry executives participating in a World Council of Credit Unions’ study trip this week.

The delegation is in Australia to hear about the country’s financial services sector and the lessons that can be learned following the findings of the Royal Commission.

COBA CEO Michael Lawrence (right) led executives in a series of presentations Wednesday.

Australia’s peak body for credit unions, mutual banks and building societies—the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)—is hosting the delegation, and facilitated a series of presentations and discussions from leading figures in the sector.

The presentations have discussed far ranging issues, such as:

  • the Australian regulatory landscape.
  • challenges facing the sector.
  • COBA’s approach to advocacy and significant campaigning wins.
  • an overview from COBA’s largest members.
  • the New Payments Platform and Open Banking.

Customer Owned Banking Association CEO Michael Lawrence said Australia’s current regulatory environment is a unique case study for other nations to learn from.

“Australia’s financial services sector is in an uncommon position right now,” said Lawrence. “There is unprecedented regulatory scrutiny on the entire financial services sector, innovation in new forms of payment like the New Payments Platform as well as a looming federal election where banking reform will be a key election commitment. We’re thrilled to be able to host our international colleagues and introduce them to some of the aspects of financial services regulation in Australia.”

World Council of Credit Unions President and CEO Brian Branch said the discussions fostered by COBA have been extremely valuable.

“It has been fascinating to hear about Australia’s regulatory landscape after such a significant inquiry like the Royal Commission. Australia’s customer owned banking institutions are certainly operating in unusual circumstances and provide a terrific example for our global colleagues,” said Branch

Credit Union National Association President (CUNA) President and CEO Jim Nussle concurred.

“There is much to learn from the Australian example. The presentations and insights from COBA have demonstrated how important effective advocacy is towards achieving competition in a financial sector,” said Nussle.

World Council's Australian credit union study trip continues through April 15.

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

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Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048
Organization: Customer Owned Banking Association