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Connexus : Issue 39
NEWS www.abacus.org.au 9 www.abacus.org.au 9 The mutual sector grew slightly stronger than the overall market during the December quarter according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Author ity for credit unions and building societies. “Our deposits were holding ground and we maintain our share of that key part of our funding base, retail deposits, at around 12 per cent,” says Dominic Dunn, head of business ser vices for Abacus. Nonetheless, says Dunn, “it’s a tough market out there” and that will be reflected in the March quarter figures. “I think we’re going to see fur ther indication of tough trading conditions. That slide could be both in business growth rates and also in financial per for mance,” he says. “Consumers aren’t borrowing to the extent that they were but the same number of lenders are trying to get a piece of the action, and that means competition is still pretty intense on the lending side. “Obviously if growth in deposits and lending has slowed, then the additional revenue that you could be getting is lower as well.” However, the APRA figures are no longer a true picture of the mutual sector, says Dunn, because they exclude the data for the new mutual banks. These are reported with the banks’ data and it has a significant impact. Abacus adjusts where possible by adding mutual banks to the credit union and building society data and is asking APR A to reconsider the way it reports the per for mance figures. Tough times but steady performance The times might be tough but the mutual sector is continuing to hold its ground.