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Connexus : Issue 43
Building a better world This is the frst issue of Connexus under the banner of the Customer Owned Banking Association -- the new name for Abacus. Why are we changing the name of the association? First, cut-through: with a clearer description of the industry we represent and a sharper way of describing the mutual banking model. Second, relevance: our members are increasingly using 'customer owned' in their own branding and marketing, and it's an inclusive term that captures all kinds of mutual ADIs -- credit unions, building societies and mutual banks. Third, reach: our industry work with media, regulators, politicians and the community relies on us adapting, renewing and updating our approach to deliver stronger activism and focus. We've been delighted with the positive feedback we've received from members since our chair Don Magin announced this plan in early May -- it's an exciting change, and one that our members can contribute to and will beneft from. You can read more about our "rebrand" on page 10. This new name is part of a step-up in activist advocacy that has seen the association re-ignite the banking competition debate, release new research, generate television, radio and mainstream print coverage and lead public policy on our key issues. Our Balance Banking campaign, which we cover on page 22, has involved high level political contact, high media coverage, and targeted regional activity including on the ground activity from our national Balance Banking bus tour. This tactical marketing campaign is critical in an election year. It has been heartening to hear the stories of those we met on the road, gauge the public appetite and interest for balance in banking, and see the media coverage it has gained and the petition signatures. We've also held meetings with the treasurer and relevant ministers, shadow treasurer and many leading MPs as we promote our industry's interests. It's a tough market at the moment with consumer confdence down, historically low interest rates, and subdued credit demand. Customer-owned banking organisations large and small are reviewing their plans and adapting their services to this environment. This edition of our industry journal offers some fresh insights and warnings that will prompt new ideas and thinking as we work to reinvent and strengthen our position. That said, our most important challenge remains unchanged. Mutuals -- customer-owned banking organisations -- exist for a reason. That reason is to contribute to the economic and social wellbeing of our members and our communities, to offer fair, accessible fnancial services to all -- without discrimination -- in a way that builds a better world. The reality is that it's been a tough market for our industry from our early days. I am confdent that our industry today has leaders, innovators and advocates who will rise to the challenges ahead. The Mutuals 2013 Convention in Melbourne in October this year is a great opportunity for us to have this conversation -- and I hope to see you there. Louise Petschler, CEO, Customer Owned Banking Association CEO comment I am con dent that our industry today has leaders, innovators and advocates who will rise to the challenges ahead. www.customerownedbanking.asn.au 7