subscribe to careers
News  |  Governance

Rebirth for Customer-Owned Bank

Wednesday, 29th July 2015 at 10:50 am
Xavier Smerdon
Investor owned bank, bankmecu will change its name in August to Bank Australia, in a move the original credit union describes as a “purpose led” transformation.

Wednesday, 29th July 2015
at 10:50 am
Xavier Smerdon



Rebirth for Customer-Owned Bank
Wednesday, 29th July 2015 at 10:50 am

Customer-owned bank, bankmecu will change its name in August to Bank Australia, in a move the original credit union describes as a “purpose led” transformation.

Managing Director Damien Walsh said the transformation was part of the bank’s strategy of being Australia’s customer-owned, responsible bank, and about wanting to have a predominant market share in socially aware consumers.

“When we spoke to our customers and potential customers about our strategy and our target market, we reflected on the fact that the name, bankmecu, wasn’t a particularly good name,” Walsh said.

“It reflected our history, our past, when we came out as a credit union. And people had difficulty with the word ‘mecu’ or ‘m-e-c-u’. And actually sometimes we were even confused with another Australian bank.

“We really thought about how we have a name that reflects the ambition of the business. And it’s an ambitious name too. So I think that that’s a good thing to be ambitious around building a customer-owned responsible bank, so that’s actually what led us to doing research around the change of name.”

However Walsh said the name change was not intended to distance the bank from its credit union origins.

“One of the things that’s really important to us is that we’re proud of our history, and that we really value the cooperative principles that we’ve inherited,” he said.

“We actually went to a number of our former directors who have retired who are part of a number of credit union who made up the organisation through different mergers over the years and they were part of the stakeholder engagement process so we had some good feedback and I would have to say the majority of them were very supportive of a name change.

“I really hope it helps to differentiate us in the marketplace. We want to really own our target market around socially aware consumers. So if I can use an analogy, it’s similar to the way people would align or think about community banking with Bendigo Bank.”

Walsh said the bank would continue to remain 100 per cent customer owned and continue to honour its commitments to retain profits in Australia and not off-shore jobs.

He admitted that the name change to Bank Australia was an ambitious one.

“Bank Australia is a strong and unambiguous name that respects the proud heritage of the 60 plus financial cooperatives that make up the bank today as well as the hundreds of thousands of people who have been customers and owners of the bank since its inception 58 years ago,” he said.

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at

Tags : Bank, bankmecu,


Get more stories like this


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Banking On Values

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 5th November 2014 at 9:06 am

EXECUTIVE INSIGHT: Small, Mutual and With Profit for Impact

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 10th September 2014 at 10:52 am

Crowdfunding: CSR’s New Frontier

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 10th September 2014 at 9:49 am

ING DIRECT’s $100,000 Crowdfunding Initiative

Lina Caneva

Tuesday, 8th July 2014 at 11:09 am


How are Aussie charities helping in the bushfire crisis?

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 7th January 2020 at 3:21 pm

What impact will the bushfire crisis have on homelessness?

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 15th January 2020 at 4:28 pm

The rise (and scepticism) of Facebook fundraisers

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 16th January 2020 at 8:49 am

Bushfire resources for people with disability


Wednesday, 15th January 2020 at 4:54 pm

Subscribe to News
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!