Fu­ture the fo­cus

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - by Martin Rasini martin. rasini@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

QUEENS­LAND Coun­try Credit Union is tap­ping into re­la­tion­ships with its mem­bers to take ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the small busi­ness sec­tor.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Aileen Cull said yes­ter­day, at the mu­tual in­sti­tu­tion’s 40th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, that the credit union had the sec­tor in its sights and had de­vel­oped a range of prod­ucts to meet the needs of small busi­ness.

‘ ‘ We have ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ships with many peo­ple in the small busi­ness sec­tor . . . and we are pur­su­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to work with them and ex­pand our sup­port for them,’’ she said.

Ms Cull said while there were a num­ber of op­por­tu­ni­ties for growth, busi­ness for Queens­land Coun­try Credit Union ‘‘ is all about the re­gions’’.

‘‘ Af­ter 40 years serv­ing Queens­land re­gional com­mu­ni­ties, they re­main our core fo­cus,’’ she said.

Ms Cull said the credit union was fo­cussed on on­line de­liv­ery of ser­vices to ex­pand mar­ket share and also re­mained open to es­tab­lish­ing ad­di­tional branches.

She said the 2009-10 fi­nan­cial year had seen her or­gan­i­sa­tion achieve $ 1 bil­lion in as­sets, a mile­stone t hat pl aced Queens­land Coun­try Credit Union 13th in the rank­ings of credit unions whose as­sets ranged from a low of less than $ 100 mil­lion up to $ 8 bil­lion.

Ms Cull said she ex­pected 2011 to be good year for mu­tual in­sti­tu­tions as bor­row­ers, dis­sat­is­fied with banks’ treat­ment of cus­tomers, turned to the sec­tor to meet their needs.

‘‘ The mar­ket share of the mu­tu­als sec­tor has risen from 7 per cent to more than 10 per cent in the past few months as peo­ple have voted with their feet to record their dis­plea­sure with the banks,’’ said Ms Cull.

Ms Cull said the mu­tu­als s ec­tor was push­ing f or change to reg­u­la­tory ar­range­ments to en­able it to give mem­bers the ben­e­fit of frank­ing cred­its en­joyed by s hare­hold­ers in publ i c - listed en­ti­ties.

‘‘ We re­ceive the cred­its, but do not is­sue div­i­dends so we can­not take ad­van­tage of them,’’ she said.

‘‘ We see this as de­liv­er­ing an un­fair ad­van­tage to listed fi­nan­cialin­sti - tu­tions.’’

MILE­STONE: Queens­land Coun­try Credit Union chief ex­ec­u­tive Aileen Cull

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