Auswide’s move is right on the money
A NEW location and hard work has paid off for the Townsville branch of Auswide Bank.
The Townsville team has been crowned the top performing branch in the bank’s network of 24 shopfronts in Queensland for 2016- 17.
Auswide managing director Martin Barrett visited the branch to congratulate the team and take them to dinner.
While here, he observed that perhaps Townsville is far more resilient than people think.
“When I travel around Queensland and see the conditions, I think Townsville has a lot to be thankful for,” Mr Barrett said. “It always seems to be far more resilient than it’s given credit for.”
Auswide was among several banks to relocate from Stockland’s Kmartanchored centre at Aitkenvale last year.
The bank invested around $ 400,000 in a new branch at the Castletown shopping centre in Hyde Park.
Mr Barrett said the investment and relocation to a larger shopping centre, along with a requirement for a greater amount of rent, was a big commitment which had proved to be a positive move.
“The location as well as the work of the team is proving to be very ben- eficial for us,” Mr Barrett said. “Customer growth has been around 20 per cent over the course of the financial year and we have seen home lending up about 15 per cent.
“Given the subdued market in Townsville, this is a pretty good going.”
Lending comprised a reasonable amount of refinancing and some first homeowner borrowing, while they had also seen deposit growth around 12 per cent.
Mr Barrett said he came away with the sense that the Townsville economy was improving.
“When I was last in Townsville just over 12 months ago, I came away quite depressed,” he said.
“The feedback from pretty much everyone was doom and gloom which surprised me a little bit.
“I felt Townsville was suffering from a larger hangover than was the reality.”
He said the sense of optimism and improvement on his latest visit was encouraging.
Auswide has 24 branches from Cairns to Brisbane and a mortgage broker network reaching into Sydney and Melbourne with assets of about $ 3 billion.
It was formed out of the former Wide Bay building society, its 2008 purchase of the Mackay Permanent building society and more recently Your Credit Union in Brisbane.