The Benefits Are Mutual
Why a mutual bank offers a better banking experience.
In 2018, Gateway recently changed from a credit union to a mutual bank (you may have noticed we changed our name from Gateway Credit Union to Gateway Bank). It was a big deal for us; not just because it marks an exciting new chapter that propels us into a new era but also because it positions us to grow and evolve for the benefit of our current and future Members.
Many people often get confused about what a mutual bank is and how it differs from a retail bank, like one of the Big 4. That’s we why thought it is the perfect moment to outline why banking with a mutual matters.
What is a mutual bank?
Unlike a retail bank, which is usually owned by large institutional investors and other shareholders, a mutual bank is owned by its members. That means everything done by a mutual bank is for the benefit of its members.
10 reasons why it’s better banking with a mutual
- You own the place. Every member has an equal share in the mutual, and an equal vote. So, you can bank where you matter.
- Profits are reinvested, rather than siphoned off to shareholders. By reinvesting profits back into systems and products, mutuals are able to provide members with the better services, products and value.
- A human touch. Most mutuals are far smaller than the retail banks, which means when you deal with a mutual you often deal with a financial institution that knows you by name and not by a number.
- Our size also means we’re able to offer more support and help to members. We have the time and care to work with members on finding the best possible solution for them, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.
- We’re safe. Under Australian law, credit unions, mutual banks and retail banks are referred to as Australian Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions and all are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). Mutuals are just as safe as a bigger retail bank.
- We care. At the heart of every mutual is a member-focussed ethos that always looks to act in the best interest of members. We like to think of it as banking with heart.
- You’ll be satisfied. When it comes to customer satisfaction, mutuals far outrank their retail bank counterparts. According to the recent Roy Morgan customer satisfaction survey, on average mutual banks scored an impressive 90.0 per cent satisfaction rating, compared to the average rate of 78 per cent for the Big 4.
- Great range of products. Mutual banks generally offer standard consumer banking services such as home loans, online savings accounts, insurance, etc. It’s a one-stop-banking-shop.
- We keep the market competitive. By banking with a mutual, you are helping maintain market competition in the banking industry. Which ultimately translates into a fairer playing field and better options for consumers.
- Banking on the go. In today’s fast-paced world, online and mobile banking are important. Most mutual banks can offer the same digital features as bigger banks, including online banking facilities and apps.