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Connexus : Issue 43
teaser campaign and involved social media and direct marketing activity, could be measured by customer consideration of the brand. “We are defnitely on the shopping list now, and I believe that's largely because we have 'bank' in our name," says Moses. "Before, if we asked 100 people if they would consider using Queensland Teachers Credit Union, we would get about 4 per cent, whereas we're now up around 24-25 per cent." Easier explanation Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank is among those to use 'customer-owned banking' prominently in its new brand. It was important in explaining what a mutual bank is, says Adam Alsbury, executive manager of strategy and marketing. "It makes it much easier for our staff to say to customers 'Look, we are a bank, but we are owned by our customers rather than external shareholders' than for them to have to explain the concept of mutuality," he says. "For us, the name change was to refect the strong and secure organisation we are, and to be attractive to future generations who will have little understanding of credit unions, but will understand what a bank is." Explaining the reasons for the rebrand and assuring existing members that there would be no change to things such as fees, or ownership or management structure, was critical to getting the required 75 per cent approval for the transition from credit union to mutual bank. "We didn't want to look like a different company, so retaining the words Victoria and teachers in our name was important and highlighted our focus on our current market. Using the term 'mutual bank' was about differentiating ourselves from shareholder-owned banks." Recent additions to the customer- owned banking sector include BankVic, formerly Police Credit, which made the change on June 1. South Australia's Community CPS, which is merging with Alliance One Credit Union, is also looking at making the transition to mutual bank later this year. The other customer-owned banks include bankmecu, Defence Bank, Heritage Bank, P&N Bank and Police Bank. Abacus has also recognised the value in rebranding itself, becoming the Customer Owned Banking Association on July 1. Sue Peacock is a freelance writer. We are de nitely on the shopping list now, and I believe that's largely because we have 'bank' in our name. www.customerownedbanking.asn.au 43