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Connexus : Issue 36
People clearly enjoy the sense of exclusivity and connectedness. "When we conducted member research through focus groups for the first time, one member said 'Don't get too big. It's like our secret club,'" said CEO Therese Tur ner at the 2011 Abacus Convention. By drawing from a tightly defined community -- AMP and financial ser vices employees, their families and friends -- and remaining focused on their traditional bond, Quay achieved 32 per cent growth in reserves over the past three years, making it the most profitable period in its history. Having a member group draw n from a relatively affluent socioeconomic group has allowed the credit union to be selective with its loan offerings. "We only offer a maximum 80 per cent LVR home loan and prefer not to pursue very large loans," says Turner. "One of the conditions for receiving a home loan is that the member needs to place all their business with us." Quay is not subsidised by AMP and actually competes with the investment giant for employee banking business. Despite this, it is able to offer a home loan rate that is "usually the best in the country" and consistently about 1 per cent lower than the rates the major banks offer. Accounts are free of transaction fees for all members. "We have maintained a simple product range with good value offerings," she says. "We don't believe we could possibly match AMP Banking's level of product sophistication, so we stay where we know we have an advantage." Quay also focuses on personalised ser vice. The person who answers a member's call can usually handle the enquiry, and many members and staff address each other by their first names. A member loyalty program, introduced to boost the amount of business from existing members, has resulted in across-the-board growth in loans and deposits, with total assets increasing 25 per cent in the past 12 months. "This was achieved at low cost in a way that is very consistent with our overall strategy," says Turner. -- Carolyn Rance is a freelance writer. NEWS connexus www.abacus.org.au 15