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Summerland Credit Union transitions to a bank

The Northern Rivers of NSW lender has transitioned to become a bank as it “seeks to put the power back in the hands of the community”.

NSW Northern Rivers lender Summerland Credit Union has revealed that it has evolved and is now known as Summerland Bank.

The lender said with the name change and transition it aimed to bring a “new era of banking that seeks to put the power back into the hands of the community through its wholly customer-owned banking model”.

Having been a key part of the NSW Northern Rivers community since 1964 in its early days as a credit union, Summerland Bank stated it will look to increase its impact by engaging with people of all ages as it looks to “carry forward the benefits of braver and better banking alternatives”.

Now as a B Corp certified bank, Summerland said it would continue to focus on its values of reciprocity as a strong community was critical to its vision and success.

Summerland Bank chair and chief executive John Williams commented: “As we consider the future of Summerland with our 60th birthday in sight next year, we needed a strategy that would allow us to grow with our community and see us actively addressing the challenges we face within our region and beyond.

“Now as a bank, we are still owned by our customers, still run by the people who bank with us, and are still offering more of what our customers want while supporting them to realise their potential as individuals, families, business owners, and members of a thriving and connected Northern Rivers NSW.

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“Our community knows Summerland’s team and their families, we see each other around town and we come together to support one another in good times and in challenges. As a customer-owned bank, we exist to see our community thrive through new business, innovation, employment opportunities, growing families and affordable and accessible housing. What’s good for the community, is good for Summerland.”

Employing over 100 individuals in the Northern Rivers and regional communities, the bank added it remained committed to in-branch banking with “good old-fashioned customer service at its 10 hubs in the region”.

As part of being devoted to the community, Summerland stated it regularly reinvests around 5 per cent of profits back into the community each year through giving and local sponsorship. It added that it has plans in the coming year to direct profits towards local wildlife, financial wellbeing and the local environment.

Summerland’s name change followed it reaching over $1 billion in assets and a net profit of over $7.2 million last financial year, with approximately 27,000 new customers joining the bank.

[Related: Customer-owned banks cooperate to provide flood support]

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