Home' Connexus : Issue 46 Contents Australia – that ser vice proposition – and bring it
into an online and digital engagement space. There
is no reason why it can’t work.”
Regulatory issues remain the big bugbear for many
customer-owned banking organisations.
In a submission to an ongoing Financial System
Inquiry in Australia, COBA has argued that the
impact of Basel III capital rules and other regulatory
imposts have dampened competition and choice.
In a recent survey of COBA members, more than
85 per cent of respondents estimated that their
compliance burden had increased over the past
three years, with the cost of regulatory compliance
imposing a disproportionately heavy burden on
smaller players. The rules have also cut the capacity
of customer-owned banking institutions to issue
regulatory capital instruments.
However, Branch is encouraged that international
bodies such as the Basel Committee on Banking
Super vision and the Financial Action Task Force are
listening to the views of the sector.
“Often they’re very open and willing to hear from
us about the unintended consequences of some of
the standards they issue with large commercial and
international banks in mind,” he says. “To share
with them the impact this can have on a mutual
fnancial institution or community-based institution
is often eye-opening for them, and we’ve had some
positive responses from them. They’ve gone back
and provided some clarifcations or helped provide
simplifcation of the r ules to reduce the cost for
Petschler says the dominance of international
regulatory frameworks such as Basel III means a
united co-operative banking perspective is needed.
If customer-owned banking institutions are to
sur vive and thrive in a competitive banking world,
global collaboration from participants in markets
such as North America, Europe, Africa, Australia
and New Zealand is essential.
"We can get a lot of insight and strength through
good engagement with our global colleagues,” she
says. Individual systems have their distinctive merits,
and “with a bit of creativity, we can look at unlocking
it and sharing it as part of a more global system”.
As the fastest-growing credit union in Canada,
Coast Capital is determined to be part of such
a global success story. It is attracting younger
members and counting on the next iteration of social
commerce and mobile banking technology to make
“You have to fnd a new relevance for young
people,” says Burns.
Ultimately, the sector can’t grow based just on
price, he says. It’s going to be based on other points
“Finding that new relevance for youth is the Holy
Grail – and with technology, we have the opportunity
to solve that.”
Cameron Cooper is a freelance writer.
For Brian Branch,
it is the perfect
time to re ect
on the strength
of the customer-
sector and the challenges
that lie ahead.
As president of the World
Council of Credit Unions
(WOCCU), he is joining
delegates from more than 50
countries at the 2014 World
Credit Union Conference on
the Gold Coast in July.
While cherishing his own
lengthy leadership role in
the sector, he restates the
importance of nding new
talent at the top.
"We o en talk about
increasing young adult
membership in credit unions,
but it's also about bringing
young adults into the sta ,
management and director roles
of the mutuals," says Branch.
A er three years in the
presidency and 24 years with
WOCCU, he has seen it all
and believes there are more
similarities than ever across
continents and large and small
credit union systems.
"I've certainly seen lots of
mistakes that we've made and
learned from," he says.
One of those lessons is the
constant need to foster new
leaders to guide the sector.
That includes developing
strategies for advancing women
into mutual leadership roles.
While the establishment of the
Global Women's Leadership
Network ve years ago has had
an impact for both women and
men, there is more to be done.
He says credit unions
and other customer-owned
banking institutions and
co-operatives are facing
challenges in areas including
funding, payment platforms
and membership growth, but
there are many positives.
"We are seeing some exciting
and insightful success stories
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