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Credit union’s profits driven by 6.9% growth in residential lending

A customer-owned lender has reported a net profit after tax of $32.2 million, off the back of its “success in residential lending”.

People’s Choice Credit Union has posted a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $32.2 million in its full-year 2018 (FY18) financial results, which it said was spurred by 6.9 per cent growth in residential lending to $6.7 billion, with its total loans and advances rising by over 6 per cent to $7.3 billion.

However, the lender’s profits declined year-on-year (by 2.8 per cent), which it attributed to “industry-wide changes to non-member ATM transaction charges”, with the credit union’s comparative NPAT increasing by 14.3 per cent to $37.8 million.

The lender also reported that member deposits increased by 6.9 per cent to $5.8 billion.


Reflecting on the results, People’s Choice CEO Steve Laidlaw said: “Our aim is to generate sufficient profits to invest in the future of People’s Choice while offering competitive products that stand out in a crowded market and delivering the best service for our members.

“This year we have had our products and people recognised as leaders in their field, funded major investments in future growth, and welcomed a near-record number of new members across the country.”

He continued: “As a member-owned financial institution, our sole purpose is to act in the best interests of our members for the long term, rather than maximising dividends for shareholders like the major banks.

“Our 2017–18 financial results show that the model works and can deliver long-term sustainability for our members, year after year.”

Calls for proportionate regulation renewed

Mr Laidlaw also weighed in on recent calls from some industry leaders for a proportionate regulatory approach in the sector.

“The Productivity Commission has already pointed out that regulatory pronouncements have often strengthened the position of the bigger players and their state-based brands to the detriment of consumers,” the CEO said.
“That can’t be allowed to happen again. Institutions like People’s Choice shouldn’t have to pay for the sins of others.

“Reforms need to be proportionate and targeted with a view to understanding how they are likely to play out across the sector, not just for the majors. That will be Parliament’s challenge, and one we look forward to discussing.”

Last month, the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) officially launched its #MoreThan4 campaign at Parliament House in Canberra.

In his address at the campaign launch, COBA CEO Mike Lawrence noted that the initiative is designed to ensure that “regulation of retail banking is proportionate and tightly targeted at regulatory objectives, and does not harm competition”.

“We need a proportionate regulatory regime that recognises there are #MoreThan4 banking providers in the market,” Mr Lawrence said.

[Related: Banks launch campaign in plea for ‘proportionate regulation’]

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