Pre-eminent customer owned bank brand

Key Highlights

Goal one: leadership in customer owned bank performance

Reputation - Overview


bankmecu seeks to have its brand represent leadership in responsible banking performance. The Bank invests customers’ money in ways which provide both an economic return as well as contributing to positive social and environmental outcomes. Again this year, bankmecu was recognised for its leadership in responsible banking and was invited to present at a range of industry and community forums.

The Bank is part of an international cooperative movement and has been actively supporting activities in Australia to promote the role of cooperatives as an alternative business model.

bankmecu is also a signatory to the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.

We continued to support the national effort to ‘close the gap’ between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and other Australians through our Reconciliation Action Plan.

The Bank does not participate in direct political lobbying nor does it provide political party contributions. Instead, we advocate through the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) and the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) as a member organisation.

Banker for community and government

Satisfying the expectations of people and organisations engaged within the community sector demands a responsible approach to banking that reflects customer attitudes and values, as we invest customers’ funds for economic, social and environmental return.

In 2012/13 bankmecu invested 3.9% of after tax profits ($1.03 million) through its Community Investment Program. The program invests in key areas, including: environment, housing, community resilience and international development.

bankmecu continued to invest in carbon sequestration and biodiversity through its Conservation Landbank, increasing its land holding to 928 hectares. In 2012/13 we invested $360,558 towards the project.

Watch our video: bankmecu Conservation Landbank

bankmecu maintained its Financial Inclusion Policy to encourage greater levels of access to financial products and services for people experiencing disadvantage. We are developing financial inclusion expertise in the disability sector and in the Latrobe Valley. bankmecu is also utilising the merger with Fitzroy & Carlton Community Credit Cooperative Limited (FCCC) to build on their legacy of working with financially excluded people living in Melbourne’s inner north.

bankmecu provided lending of $865,000 in finance for community asset property ownership in 2012/13 to support Foresters Community Finance Community Asset Building Program.

We have been working with the community housing sector for a number of years to fund projects which provide secure housing for those in need. In 2012/13 we provided $38.1m towards community housing projects.

bankmecu also provided $844,320 in lending to local government infrastructure projects.

Satisfied and engaged customers

Customer satisfaction remains very high at 93% (2011/12: 94%) and we achieved a Net Promoter Score of 16 (2011/12: 35). A study of detracting customer commentary points to a number of factors with service centre closures and fees being a possible source of dissatisfaction.

There was an increase in the number of complaints received in 2012/13 from 250 to 266. The main categories for complaints were ‘service centre closures’ and ‘cards’. In the same year, we received 106 service compliments (2011/12: 104).

During 2012/13 we provided 113 (2011/12: 55) customers with hardship assistance on their loans.

Engaged staff

A high level of staff satisfaction continued, with overall staff satisfaction at 84% (2011/12: 88%). Employee organisational commitment remained high at 86% (2012/12: 88%) and the Employer of choice decreased slightly to 82% (2011/12: 87%). The benefit of the relationship bankmecu enjoys with its staff can be seen in the Bank’s high levels of productivity and low cost to income ratio, which directly contribute to customer benefit and value.

At 30 June 2013, we had 348 employees. Of these 127 staff members worked in metropolitan Melbourne, 105 in Gippsland, 74 in Western Victoria and a further 42 at service centres located around Australia. bankmecu has a predominantly female workforce with 253 females of the 348 total employees at year end. The executive team is male. Of the seven non-Executive Directors, three are female including the Deputy Chair.

The turnover rate for continuing employees including full-time, part-time and casual staff was 10.40% (2011/12: 9.70%). The Bank spent an average of $845 per full time equivalent (FTE) on training and development, equating to an average of 40.96 hours training per employee.

During 2012/2013 no new workers’ compensation claims were accepted. However, a total of 36 lost work days were recorded. There were no incidents of discrimination identified or reported in the 2012/2013 period.

Investment grade credit rating

International rating agency Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed the Bank’s investment grade credit rating at BBB+/Stable/A-2.

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Reputation - In depth


bankmecu will maximise its brand value, marketplace positioning, employee and other stakeholder engagement.

bankmecu will develop its reputation as a thought leader in responsible banking.

bankmecu is a signatory to various external initiatives and actively involved to this end.

Mutual Banking Code of Practice

bankmecu is a signatory to and complies with the Mutual Banking Code of Practice which was launched on 1 July 2009. The Mutual Banking Code of Practice defines how customer owned banks, credit unions and mutual building societies will deliver on their pledge to always put customers first.

The Code contains 10 commitments bankmecu adheres to:

1.  We will be fair and ethical in our dealings with you

2. We will focus on our customers

3. We will give you clear information about our products and services

4. We will be responsible lenders

5. We will deliver high customer service and standards

6. We will deal fairly with any complaints

7. We will recognise customer rights as owners

8. We will comply with our legal and industry obligations

9. We will recognise our impact on the wider community

10. We will support and promote this Code of Practice

The Mutual Banking Code of Practice is currently under review by the Customer Owned Banking Association, formerly Abacus.


bankmecu became a signatory to the United Nations Environment Programme Statement by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development (UNEP FI) in January 2004 and was the first credit union in the Asia Pacific to do so. UNEP FI is a global partnership between UNEP and the private financial sector to develop and promote the relationship between sustainability and financial performance. Through various activities, UNEP FI carries out its mission to identify, promote and realise the adoption of best environmental and sustainability practice within financial institutions.

UNEP FI principles are embedded in bankmecu practices and addressed throughout this report.

UN Global Compact

bankmecu became a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UN GC) in 2010.

Launched in July 2000 the UN Global Compact is an international leadership initiative endorsed by member organisation chief executives. It seeks to align business operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

UN GC principles are embedded in bankmecu practices and addressed throughout this report.

bankmecu Communication on Progress.

UN Principles for Responsible Investment

bankmecu became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI)  in 2010.

UN PRI is an investor initiative in partnership with United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and United Nations Global Compact. UN PRI identifies and aims to address environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that affect the performance of investments. The Principles complement the UN Global Compact and are a natural extension of the work of UNEP FI, which has helped elevate the importance of environmental and social issues in financial markets.

UN PRI principles are embedded in bankmecu investment practices and addressed throughout this report.

Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)

bankmecu launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan on 18 November 2010. bankmecu’s RAP was developed in collaboration with Reconciliation Australia to further employee diversity and other social development objectives. It is a public contribution towards the national effort to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. The RAP identifies clear actions and realistic targets to guide bankmecu.

The Bank’s RAP follows the guiding principles outlined by Reconciliation Australia:

  • Relationships – building good relationships with Indigenous people
  • Respect – building respect for Indigenous contribution to Australia
  • Opportunities – working to ensure equal opportunity for Indigenous people

Reconciliation Action Plan 2012

RAP activities under the Community Investment Program.

Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV)

bankmecu became the first and only Australian member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values in May 2012. The GABV is an international alliance of the world’s leading sustainable banks. The GABV’s collective goal is to touch the lives of one billion people through sustainable banking by 2020.

GABV requirements include:

  • being an independent bank with a focus on retail customers
  • having minimum on balance sheet assets of $50 million
  • being committed to social banking and the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit 

Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA)

The Customer Owned Banking Association is mutual building societies, credit unions and friendly societies.

COBA is owned by its member institutions and is responsible for delivering a strong and clear single voice for Australian customer owned banking institutions. COBA promotes the role of the mutual financial services sector and represents its interests to:

  • federal and state governments
  • regulators, such as APRA and ASIC
  • industry and consumer groups
  • the media
  • the general public and other stakeholders

COBA also provides its member institutions with advice and support services, including specialist teams dealing with public affairs, overseeing representation, providing input to reforms and policy, and liaison with media and other stakeholders.

COBA has represented bankmecu and the industry in the following areas during the reporting period:

Competition: Competition in the banking market remains an integral issue for all Australians with the market dominated by the big four banks. Customer owned banks, credit unions and mutual building societies deliver professional and ethical banking to some 4.5 million Australians, and these institutions are more essential than ever to maintaining competition and giving consumers choice.

Banking inquiry: COBA called on an independent, well-resourced inquiry into the Australian banking market, including whether regulatory and policy settings have shifted too far towards stability and away from competition, choice and innovation.

Regulatory framework: COBA called on a prudential regulatory framework that gives due weight to promoting competition and diversity, that accommodates the customer owned model as well as the listed model, and that is accountable and subject to appropriate Parliamentary oversight.

Regulatory burden and compliance costs: COBA called on regulators and policy-makers to recognise the disproportionate impact and anti-competitive effect of regulation and new legislative requirements on smaller institutions.

Confident and informed retail banking consumers: COBA called on regulators and policy-makers to reduce the risk posed to consumers by the unregulated ‘shadow banking’ sector and to require major banks to be transparent and accountable with multi-brand strategies.

Competitive neutrality: COBA called for fairer taxation of customer owned banking institutions and their owners by allowing customer owned banking institutions a simple, marketable and efficient mechanism to distribute franking credits.


Australian Bankers’ Association

bankmecu became a member of the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA) on 16 May 2013. The ABA works with its members to provide analysis, advice and advocacy and contributes to the development of public policy on banking and other financial services. ABA’s aim is to ensure Australian banking customers continue to benefit from a healthy, stable and competitive banking industry.

Political lobbying and contributions

bankmecu does not participate in direct political lobbying nor does it provide political party contributions. However, bankmecu advocates through the key industry association COBA and the ABA as a member organisation.

bankmecu also supports some non-government organisations which do have a lobbying and advocacy role through the Bank’s Community Investment Program.

During 2012/13, bankmecu raised the need for greater levels of transparency in bank sub-brand advertising by writing to ACCC, ASIC and the Treasury, Australian Government.

bankmecu highlighted the need for relevant authorities to ensure advertising of bank sub-brands was transparent in terms of ownership in order that consumers could make informed decisions about their banking.

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Banker for community and government

bankmecu will be positioned as a respected provider of responsible banking services to organisations and employees of the community and government sector.

Community Investment Program

Our Community Investment Program represents an investment made by bankmecu on behalf of its customers. Program funding comes from bankmecu profits. We make investments into the communities from which bankmecu itself derives its support and generates its profits.

The objective of the bankmecu Community Investment Program is to support activities that enhance a community’s capacity to respond to a range of economic, social and environmental issues.

We are committed to investing up to 4 per cent of our budgeted after-tax profits into the Community Investment Program. bankmecu focuses its investment in four key areas identified through stakeholder engagement. These are: Environment, Housing, Community resilience and International development. Investments are made on the condition that an impact report is provided by the recipient.

Community investment by focus area in 2012/13

Community resilience Environment Housing International development TOTAL
$496,716.56 $416,443.00 $86,272.50 $27,771.15 $1,027,203.21

In 2012/13 bankmecu invested 3.97 per cent of its after-tax profit into the Community Investment Program.

Area of investment: Community resilience

Name of Project Purpose
Greening Australia – New Shoots To provide meaningful and community-connected education, work and volunteering opportunities for young people with disabilities.
2012 Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards To support and recognise the valuable contribution that Not-for-Profit organisations make to the Ballarat community.
Committee for Ballarat To support the Ballarat region in facilitating economic and social development to leave a notable and sustainable legacy for the entire community.
Disability Employment Australia – 2012 Conference To support the professional development of the disability sector by providing opportunities for leaders to think, question and respond to a range of critical issues in ways that are meaningful to their organisations, people with disability, employers and the industry more broadly.
Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program (LMCLP) To support the development of leaders for vibrant and sustainable communities across central and north-west Victoria through the delivery of the annual LMCLP.
Bendigo Business Council (BBC) To enhance relationships between Bendigo Business and the Bendigo community sector while developing an environment of cooperation, goodwill and collaboration amongst central Victorian businesses.
Community Foundation For Bendigo and Central Victoria – Bendigo a Thinking Community To encourage and engage with the Bendigo community to think deeply and strategically about expectations and aspirations to develop a more prosperous, liveable and sustainable society.
Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) Annual Conference Support the professional development of the Queensland social services sector to help build resilience in communities and fairness for disadvantaged people.
Committee for Gippsland To support the Gippsland community to improve planning for a better social, economic and environmental future in the Gippsland region.
Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) To support the professional development of leaders in the social services sector in Victoria. To support the VCOSS/bankmecu Finance Managers’ Network as part of the VCOSS Clearinghouse.
CSIRO – Malcolm McIntosh Lecture To provide a free public lecture on a topical science issue to increase public understanding of the importance of science.
National Employment Services Association – 2012 National Conference To support the professional development of the Employment Services sector.
Baw Baw Community Network Breakfast To provide opportunities for business, government and community to come together to discuss matters relevant to the Baw Baw community.
Latrobe Community Network Breakfast To provide opportunities for business, government and community to come together to discuss matters relevant to the Latrobe community.
Third Sector Magazine – Third Sector Conference To support the professional development of the Community Sector.
Integrated Reporting Pilot Program To support research on integrated reporting and continue to demonstrate leadership in sustainable performance and reporting.
Men Transforming Men To support the Men’s Right’s of Passage initiative which enhances resilience amongst men.
Net Balance – Understanding the Impact of the Community Investment Program To develop a framework which allows the Bank to better understand the outcomes derived from the Community Investment Program.
National Disability Service – Victorian State Conference. To support the professional development of professionals working in the disability sector.
Playgroup Victoria To support the professional development of Playgroup Victoria and their members.
Brainfood 2012 Conference To support the professional development of Adult and Community Education.
Foresters Community Finance – Social Enterprise Development To support the development of social enterprise in the Queensland community sector.
Disability Employment Australia – 2013 Conference To support the professional development of the Disability sector by providing opportunities for leaders to think, question and respond to a range of critical issues in ways that are meaningful to their organisations, as well as to people with disability, employers and industry more broadly.
Social Traders – Social Enterprise Masterclass To support the development of social enterprise in the Victorian community sector.
Blue Stocking Association – Patron To provide a broad spectrum of practical assistance and support to enable Gippsland women to achieve success through education.


The RACV Energy Breakthrough To encourage participants to examine and use the latest technology while considering its impact on the environment and the way people live locally and globally.
Association of Business Managers in Victorian State Schools To support the professional development of business managers in Victorian State Schools.
Australian Education Union – Victorian Branch To support the professional development of teachers and leadership development for government school leaders.
School for Student Leadership To provide opportunities for Year 9 students to develop into school and community leaders.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – Schools Financial Management Training To encourage professional development of educational leaders including principals and business managers on financial matters.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – Education Excellence Awards To recognise and promote excellence amongst secondary school teachers and school business managers.
State Schools’ Relief To ensure Victorian students have adequate and appropriate school attire to assist them to focus on their studies and maximise their potential.
Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals (VASSP) To support the professional development of Principals in Victorian State Secondary Schools.
CSIRO – Science by Email To encourage science-based learning and science as a career path through provision of a free weekly newsletter.
Community Leadership Loddon Murray (CLLM) Indigenous Scholarship – Central Victoria and Northern Mallee Support for a local Indigenous person to participate in and benefit from CLLM.
School for Social Entrepreneurs – Talent Pool To support the development of social enterprise amongst young people.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – Dr Lawrie Shears Public Lecture To support the professional development of education leaders and increase awareness of the role education plays in developing a strong and resilient Victoria.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – Monash Waverley Leadership Conference To support the professional development of education leaders in Victorian State Schools.
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development – Dandenong Ranges & Knox Network Leadership Conference To support the professional development of education leaders in Victorian State Schools.
Cathy Freeman Foundation To assist the Cathy Freeman Foundation to raise further funds in order that it close the education gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children.
Bendigo NAIDOC Week To increase attention of and to celebrate reconciliation.
Castlemaine District Community Health – Castlemaine NAIDOC week To increase attention of and to celebrate reconciliation.
Castlemaine District Community Health – Sorry Day/Reconciliation Week To increase attention of and to celebrate reconciliation.

Area of investment: Environment

Investment Recipient Purpose
Country Fire Authority – Minimay Fire Brigade To support the local fire brigade where the bankmecu Landbank is located.
Wimmera Biodiversity Seminar 2012 To support a major nature conservation event in the region attracting people from the Wimmera and beyond for a full day of presentations, field trips and networking.
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) – New Economics Program


To assist ACF with the development of the new economics program which aims to advance practical, achievable improvements in economic theory and practice to better promote human wellbeing in an ecologically sustainable way.
Australian Conservation Foundation – 10 year strategic plan To assist the ACF to work with business to achieve an ecologically sustainable future for Australia.
Australian Youth Climate Coalition – Switched on Schools Program Reach, inspire, motivate and create sustainability awareness for thousands of Australian Secondary School students.
Victorian Association for Enviornmental Education – 2012 Conference To foster partnerships between business and the environment which build a safer environmental future.
Sustainable Regional Australia To encourage business and community organisations to adopt measures which reduce energy use.
Landcare Australia – bankmecu Conservation Landbank

To provide bankmecu with carbon and biodiversity offsets while at the same time protecting remnant vegetation and revegetating degraded marginal land.

Watch our video: bankmecu Conservation Landbank 2012/13

Area of investment: Housing

Investment Recipient Purpose
Community Housing Federation Victoria (CHFV) To promote professional development within the community housing sector.
Building Design Association of Victoria (BDAV) Annual Awards 2012 The annual BDAV awards recognise innovation and design excellence. As part of our commitment to sustainable design, bankmecu supported this event.
Alternative Technology Association – Speed Date a Sustainable Designer To support the development of more sustainable housing through offering free advice from Australia’s leading sustainable building designers and architects.
Urban Development Institute of Australia Encourage the development and uptake of more sustainably built homes.
International Council for Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI) – Thriving Neighbourhoods Conference To support creating long-term sustainable change through local action.
Southern Junction Community Housing – Southern Housing Alliance To encourage greater connections between community housing agencies.
Council to Homeless Persons – 2013 Conference To support the professional development of the housing and homelessness sector.
Buy Nothing New Month – The New Jones To encourage sustainable living.
Sustainable Housing – Stakeholder event To encourage the development of sustasinable housing and assist bankmecu understand how it can increase its investment into sustainable housing.

Area of investment: International development

Investment Recipient Purpose
World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) To promote the sustainable development of customer owned banking and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services.
Credit Union Foundation of Australia (CUFA) To assist financial cooperatives in the Asia Pacific to develop and empower their communities economically and socially.
Alternative Technology Association – Village Lighting Scheme, Timor l’Este Improve the living standards of remote communities in Timor Leste by providing cheap green energy to households.
United Nations Global Compact To support ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) To support UNEP FI’s mission to identify, promote and realise the adoption of best environmental and sustainability practice within financial institutions.

Visit bankmecu central to learn more about the work the Bank does in the community.

Financial inclusion sector

bankmecu acknowledges a community need for low-cost, convenient and effective access to everyday banking facilities. The absence of these facilities is known as ‘financial exclusion’. We recognise some social groups are particularly affected by financial exclusion including:

  • low-income families
  • the unemployed
  • the elderly
  • students
  • those living in remote and rural areas
  • immigrants and those with little English
  • those with disabilities
  • Indigenous communities
  • small business
  • community  enterprise

bankmecu has in place a Financial Inclusion Policy aimed at reducing financial exclusion and improving access to financial products and services across identified potentially disadvantaged groups.

bankmecu has available the option for all customers to bank fee-free and is part of the rediATM network access for all Australians.

The disability sector

bankmecu is working with the disability sector to understand the needs of people impeded by disability with a view to developing banking products and services for this market. Our 2012 – 2017 Development Plan identifies this as a key area for development.

The Bank commissioned Foresters Community Finance to deliver research Financial Inclusion: People with Disabilities and their Families – Understanding their Financial Needs.

The Bank is now working with its financial planning partner, Shadforth Financial Group, to develop an appropriate response to many of the issues outlined in this research.

Fitzroy & Carlton Credit Community Credit Cooperative Limited

In late June 2013, bankmecu merged with Fitzroy & Carlton Community Credit Cooperative Limited (FCCC). FCCC has been providing banking services to people experiencing financial exclusion in and around Melbourne’s inner north for over 30 years. The merger between bankmecu and FCCC provides an opportunity for bankmecu to develop its approach to support banking for people on low fixed incomes.

Latrobe Valley

The Bank has formed a working committee to look at how it can best work with people experiencing financial exclusion in the Latrobe Valley. The Bank has sought advice from Uniting Care Kildonan and Good Shepherd Microfinance to assist it develop its approach. It is expected a trial program will be launched in the latter part of 2013.

bankmecu does not collect data on access points in low-populated or economically disadvantaged areas by type. However, bankmecu is a major business in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley. Furthermore, the Bank’s overall presence in regional Victoria is very strong. These geographic areas would likely fall into this category of need.

Community Investment Program impact assessment

In 2012/13 bankmecu invested in a project to enable us to better understand the impact of our Community Investment Program. The recommendations from this project will be implemented in the first half of the 2013/14 financial year. bankmecu will continue to allocate funds through the Community Investment Program to increase our understanding of the impact of the Bank’s community investment activities.

The Bank will also look for other ways to measure the impact of its responsible approach to banking.

Community infrastructure investments

bankmecu has developed strong relationships across the community sector and local government. As a responsible banking institution bankmecu has a role to play in assisting to improve community infrastructure.

In 2012/13 the Bank achieved this in a number of ways outlined below.

Community Asset Building

Foresters Community Finance have a well established Community Asset Building program which assists non-profit organisations to strengthen their financial and social sustainability. Some of these loans are supported through a brokerage arrangement between bankmecu and Foresters Community Finance

Foresters work with community organisations interested in buying a property. Using a very comprehensive process, organisations are guided through the requirements needed to access community finance.  bankmecu then works with the organisation to arrange the finance needed to purchase the specific property.

Owning property can help improve the financial sustainability of an organisation. It can also have a significant positive social impact. Foresters conducts a Community Asset Building workshop to inform community organisations about the possibilities of owning property. Visit the Foresters website.

bankmecu approved $865,000 in lending to finance community asset property ownership in 2012/13.

Community Housing

bankmecu has been working with the community housing sector for a number of years to fund projects which provide secure and affordable housing for those in need. In 2012/13 bankmecu provided $38.1m in loans to fund community housing projects.

Local Government

bankmecu has a significant presence across Regional Victoria and has been able to work with a number of local governments to provide them with funding for infrastructure projects. In 2012/13 we provided $844,320 in lending to local government infrastructure projects.

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Satisfied and engaged customers

bankmecu will maintain customer satisfaction levels at over 90 per cent and engage with customers to ensure the Bank reflects their attitudes, values, needs and expectations.

bankmecu will assist customers in developing a greater sense of financial wellbeing.

Customer insights survey

bankmecu commissioned an external provider to conduct our 2013 Customer Insights Survey. The research was conducted in accordance with AS: ISO 20252 guidelines.

Key areas of the research included: demographics, financial relationships, customer satisfaction, net promoter score, expectations from a customer owned bank and brand perceptions.

The survey included additional questions newly reported in 2013, which will form part of our biannual Financial Wellbeing Index.

The sample included all customers with a valid email address from our database of customers aged 18 years and over, including all non-personal customers.

A total of 3,159 surveys were completed. The survey was conducted online as more than half our customers can access the internet. Online surveys are lower cost, generate more responses and results are available immediately the survey closes.

The customer profile was weighted to correct sample variations.

Findings from the Customer Insights Survey are shared with the Board, across the Bank and with customers. Staff are encouraged to continually improve performance in line with customer expectations.

As a result of this research bankmecu aims to:

  • better understand the needs of customers in different age segments
  • better design products and services
  • better target customers for products and services
  • raise awareness of the Bank’s product range
  • better allocate Community Investment Program
  • better identify new areas for investment
  • develop communications that are relevant to customers

Customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction remains very high at 93 per cent, which is a slight decrease from last year. The number of ‘very satisfied’ customers decreased slightly from 60 per cent to 59 per cent in 2013. ‘Total dissatisfied’ decreased from 6 per cent to 3 per cent. These results underpin the Bank’s performance across the pricing, service and values,  and are also a reflection of our ability to communicate benefits to customers.

The table below highlights customer satisfaction levels over the past seven years. ‘Net satisfied’ refers to respondents who were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ and ‘net dissatisfied’ refers to respondents who were ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’.

Customer ‘net satisfaction’ and ‘net dissatisfaction’

  2012/13 (%) 2011/12 (%) 2010/11 (%) 2009/10 (%) 2008/09 (%) 2007/08 (%) 2006/07 (%) 2005/06 (%) 2004/05 (%)
Net satisfied 93 94 94 92 93 94 94 93 94
Net dissatisfied 3 6 6 8 7 5 5 6 4
Indifferent 5 - - - - 1 1 1 2

Note: Rounding the categories results in a total of 101%.

This year a new category was added to the scale, ‘indifferent’ to provide a better indication of dissatisfied customers. 

bankmecu monitors satisfaction by age, in recognition of our aging population, amongst other attributes. The table below reflects bankmecu customer ‘net satisfaction’ by age in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12. Younger age groups experienced a drop in satisfaction which we will further explore to uncover potential sources of dissatisfaction.

Research undertaken by Roy Morgan reports bankmecu has the country’s highest satisfaction rating of all banks at 95.6 per cent for April 2013, which outstripped the big four banks (average 78.9 per cent).

Net promoter score

A net promoter score (NPS) is a measure of customer loyalty, and complements our customer satisfaction score. It measures existing customer willingness to refer bankmecu to friends or colleagues. This is a strong measure of customer satisfaction. The NPS question is standardised to ensure consistency across results and also across different industries to ensure a like-for-like comparison.

Respondents answer on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being very unlikely while 10 is very likely.

From here the NPS is calculated as follows:

Promoters = those who answer 9–10

Passives = those who answer 7–8

Detractors = those who answer 1–6

NPS = % promoters minus % detractors


Over the past three years bankmecu has achieved the following results.

Net promoter results

  2012/13 2011/12 2010/11 2009/10
Net promoter score 16 35 20 6

Since 2010 bankmecu promoters have increased from 40 per cent to 43 per cent, while detractors have decreased from 34 per cent to 27 per cent. The NPS dropped over 2012/2013 due to a decrease in the number of promoters and increase in the number of detractors. A study of detracting customer commentary points to a number of factors with branch location and fees being a possible source of detraction.

The external provider who conducts our Customer Insights Survey notes they are seeing declines in NPS scores across all clients, suggesting external causes may also be contributing to the lower score this year.

Top 11 attributes customers associate with bankmecu

Attribute 2012/13 (rank) 2011/12 (rank) 2010/11 (rank) 2009/10 (rank) 2008/9 (rank) 2007/08 (rank) 2006/07 (rank)
Provides customer service at a standard you require 74 (1) 75 (1) 91 (2) 81 (2) 90 (2) 90 (1) 90 (1)
Works to benefit customers, not just shareholders 67 (2) 70 (2) 88 (4) 77 (3) 87 (3) 90 (1) 91 (2)
Is a secure financial institution 67 (2) 69 (3) 78 (7) 69 (6) 73 (6)  87 (2) 87 (3)
Ethical (new since 2008/09) 63 (3) 67 (4) 98 (1) 89 (1) 97 (1) - -
Provides value-for-money banking 59 (4) 60 (6) 80 (5) 60 (8) 79 (4)  85 (3) 85 (5)
Is community focused 55 (5) 60 (7) 73 (8) 68 (7) 72 (7) 72 (5) 70 (7)
Practices socially responsible banking 54 (6) 67 (5) 89 (3) 74 (4) 87 (3)  87 (2) 86 (4)
Inexpensive account fees 42 (7) 53 (8) 80 (6) 72 (5) 78 (5)  82 (4) 83 (6)
Convenient banking 38 (8) - - - - - -
Offers the most competitive banking investments 22 (9) 28 (9) 41 (11) 36 (10) 39 (10) 70 (6) 67 (8)
Widest range of financial products/services 22 (10) 23 (11) 41 (10) 32 (11) 40 (9) 68 (7) 65 (9)

Note: Convenient banking was added to attributes list this year.

The Customer Insights Survey asks customers to rate how they perceive bankmecu against a list of key attributes. Attributes are ranked in order of highest association to lowest. Previous year’s rankings are shown in brackets.

Results are similar to 2012 except for some movement in our 5th strongest attribute onwards. Our emphasis on communicating value is making headway as more customers perceive the bank to ‘provide value for money banking,’ above ‘community focused’ and ‘practices socially responsible banking’. We believe this is a positive result as it means customers understand the benefit of their relationship beyond pricing.

2013 Financial Wellbeing Index

The Financial Wellbeing Index ascertains customer attitudes towards their present and future financial situation and management of finances, as well as key social and environmental issues of interest.

The overall outlook is down slightly on the 2012 result, however, customers are positive  about their financial situation. Economic uncertainty could be influencing perceptions of financial wellbeing.

Financial Wellbeing 2013 2012
Total satisfactory 73% 75%
Total unsatisfactory 9% 8%
Very satisfactory 18% 16%
Satisfactory 55% 59%
Neither satisfactory nor unsatisfactory 18% 17%
Unsatisfactory 7% 7%
Very unsatisfactory 2% 1%

bankmecu will promote the results of the index to highlight the Bank’s mission to improve customer financial wellbeing in responsible ways.

Customer expenditure the past 12 months

Expenditure was very similar across 2012-2013 – more people bought cars, renovated and travelled whereas less bought houses. Customers are focussed on improving their lifestyle with goods and experiences, rather than property.

  2013 2012
Bought a house or other property 8% 9%
Bought a car 22% 20%
Renovated your current home 19% 18%
Purchased a major household item (stove, TV, fridge etc.) 39% 45%
Taken an overseas holiday 41% 38%
Taken an Australian holiday 48% 46%
Paid private school fees 7% 7%
None of the above 15% -

Complaints and sensitive issues

bankmecu monitors and keeps a register of all written and verbal complaints received from customers. A ‘Complaint and Dispute Resolution Guide for Customers’ is available on our website and is provided to customers on request, or to those who make a complaint. The guide explains the process available for the resolution of complaints.

Customers are encouraged to raise any concerns with us as the first step to resolve any complaint. Any decision may be referred for senior management review.

If a complaint cannot be resolved under our internal process, customers can access a free-of-charge external dispute resolution by an independent registered scheme. The schemes available are the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) or the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO).

Summary of the main areas of complaint

Number of complaints
Category of complaint 12/13 11/12 10/11 09/10 08/09 07/08 06/07 05/06 04/05
Fees and charges 20 21 68 159 43 48 61 79 72
Cards 48 63 68 47 17 33 34 107 42
Internet banking 36 48 51 104 38 24 47 69 89
Service 18 13 31 25 20 52 39 99 105
Lending 10 17 20 27 22 19 13 48 43
Service centre closures 51 0 16 42 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Term deposits 5 4 10 10 7 2 2 8 12
Direct entry 9 19 6 9 5 5 10 9 11
Various/ other 69 65 75 64 93 65 81 228 214
Total number of complaints 266 250 345 503 245 248 287 654 594

Eleven customers referred their disputes to senior management for review in 2012/13. Matters considered included issues of the administration of credit facilities, liability regarding unauthorised transactions on customer accounts, the administration of loans and lending processes, the coverage of insurance policies, and operational decisions made by bankmecu in the course of business. Of these disputes, five were resolved to the customer’s satisfaction by bankmecu, five referred their disputes to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for impartial investigation and review, and one customer chose not to pursue their dispute any further.

In 2012/13, 12 customers referred their disputes to the FOS for investigation and external resolution. Eight of these disputes had not previously accessed our Internal Disputes Resolution (IDR) process and once addressed by bankmecu each dispute was then finalised to the customer’s satisfaction. Three disputes had previously been reviewed by bankmecu’s senior management and the remaining dispute had proceeded to legal determination. At 30 June 2013, one of these disputes is yet to be finalised by FOS. There are five outstanding disputes still under investigation with FOS from prior to 2012/13.

In the same year, bankmecu received 106 compliments for products, level of service and general business operations.

Customer financial education and advice

bankmecu facilitates a number of educational activities including the provision of general advice and written communications.

bankmecu customers are offered ongoing education, advice and service by referral to a specialist financial planning service – Shadforth Financial Group (SFG) Australia.

During 2012/13 a number of customers applied for consideration in relation to the repayment of their loan on the grounds of hardship. We provided 113 customers with hardship assistance. This number increased in line with a change in hardship provisions under the National Credit Code.

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Engaged staff

bankmecu will maintain employee organisational commitment (engagement) at above 70 per cent.

Employee profile

  • Full-time: 252 people (includes trainees; excludes contract, parental leave and work cover)
  • Part-time: 70 people
  • Casual: 7 people
  • Contract: 8 people
  • Parental leave: 11 people
  • Full-time Equivalent (FTEs): 304.18 people
  • 127 staff members worked in metropolitan Melbourne
  • 105 worked in Gippsland
  • 74 worked in western Victoria
  • 42 worked at service centres located elsewhere around Australia
  • 13 per cent of staff members were born outside Australia
  • 9 per cent speak a language at home other than English
  • 2 per cent have some form of intellectual or physical disability
  • 1 per cent have identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent

Employees by gender (2012/13)

bankmecu has a predominantly female workforce: 253 of the 348 total employees at year end (73 per cent). The executive team is male. The Board has eight Directors, of which three are female, including the Deputy Chair.

bankmecu recognises there is a continuing gender imbalance at different employment categories, particularly at the Customer Services and Executive levels. bankmecu has a Board Human Resources policy that covers Affirmative Action and Diversity and ensures the organisation removes barriers which prevent minority groups from competing, practices non-discrimination and employs the most suitable candidate for a given role.

In 2012/2013 two female managers were  given the opportunity to act as General Manager Operations and Risk (an executive role) during the year to aid their career development.

Staff organisational effectiveness survey

For the past eight years, bankmecu has conducted an Organisational Effectiveness Survey, which asks staff to respond to a number of key measures including:

  • internal customer service
  • immediate supervisor/manager relations
  • ethics and integrity
  • organisational image,
  • organisational learning
  • job satisfaction
  • organisational commitment
  • communication effectiveness
  • customer service standards
  • availability of product information
  • sustainability
  • organisational culture
  • brand awareness
  • financial awareness
  • employer of choice

The majority of all metrics showed a slight decrease in 2012/2013.

Staff satisfaction and organisational commitment

Staff satisfaction is determined from the Organisational Effectiveness Survey results based on the organisational commitment, job satisfaction and employer of choice measures.

We continued our high level of staff satisfaction in 2012/13, with overall staff satisfaction at 84 per cent (2011/12: 88 per cent).

Organisational commitment remained high at 86 per cent in 2012/13 (2012/12: 88 per cent) and the Employer of choice decreased slightly to 82 per cent in 2012/13 (2011/12: 87 per cent).

In the 2012/13 survey, Metro Melbourne  job satisfaction results decreased by one per cent, Western Victoria decreased by 11 per cent, Gippsland decreased by four per cent and interstate remained unchanged.

The higher decrease in Western Victoria may be attributed to the pending Sunbury service centre closure at the time the survey was taken.

There is no apparent reason for the changes in job satisfaction in other regions apart from general turnover of staff.

Employee recruitment

The Human Resources policy covers Equal Opportunity Employment. Recruitment processes are designed so that we recruit free from discrimination people who are best suited to roles and best suited to the Bank.

bankmecu’s commitment to sustainable development is included in position descriptions published for vacant roles and is discussed during employment interviews.

Psychological profiling of senior candidates is undertaken to identify abilities, workplace preferences and frequencies. Profiling assists identifying suitable behaviours and behavioural risks relative to roles. Testing and profiling has been extended in some instances to include short-listed candidates for all positions.

Twenty-three per cent of new employees recruited in the 2012/2013 year subsequently left in their first year.

In 2012/2013 our traineeship program expanded into the metropolitan Melbourne region in both Financial Services and Business Administration. Efforts continued in 2012/2013 to engage trainees from minority groups. bankmecu’s school-based trainee successfully completed the program and transitioned into a full-time Financial Services Traineeship. Staff appointed into the Financial Services Traineeship complete a Certificate III in Financial Services. Staff appointed into the full-time Business Administration Traineeship complete a Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology (Business Administration Stream). The skills for all trainees are developed through e-learning systems, together with trainer support and on the job training and mentoring.

In 2012/2013, 10 new full-time traineeships were offered, five in Gippsland including one accepted by a 2011/2012 school-based trainee, three were offered in Western Victoria, and two in metropolitan Melbourne.

Local recruitment

When recruiting for any position at bankmecu, positions are initially advertised internally and then advertised externally if necessary. Internal recruitment supports existing staff development and knowledge transfer across the organisation.

In 2012/13 bankmecu recruited for 102 positions. Of these roles, 47 were filled by internal applicants and 44 by external applicants. One externally appointed applicant did not commence employment. The other 10 positions remained vacant.

Positions in regional centres are advertised locally in an effort to recruit staff from the local community. In 2012/13 all external employees recruited in regional centres were local residents.

Employee turnover and job creation

bankmecu aims to continue to improve productivity and manage levels of staff turnover without losing customer focus. The turnover rate for continuing employees including full-time, part-time and casual staff for 2012/13 was 10.40 per cent (2011/12: 9.70 per cent).

Note: the above turnover figures break down the 10.40 per cent of continuous staff turnover into age, gender and region.

Parental leave

bankmecu endeavours to be a flexible employer and retain staff who take parental leave. Flexibility requires the Bank to rethink the way positions are structured. While this may cost the Bank in monetary terms, it can provide staff with security and enables the Bank to retain invaluable knowledge and expertise.

All continuing employees with more than 12 months continuous service are eligible for parental leave. Fifteen staff out of 291 total eligible staff commenced parental leave since 1 July 2012 (13 female, 2 male).

Ten employees were due to return from parental leave after 1 July 2012. Of these, nine returned and one commenced a second entitlement of parental leave.

Ten employees concluded parental leave in the previous year. Of these nine were female, seven returned and three extended their parental leave. All seven remain employees 12 months after the end of their leave.

Employee remuneration

bankmecu salaries are determined using a range of external benchmarks, including the Australasian Mutuals Institute Salary Survey, and are reviewed annually to ensure they are competitive with industry standards.

The minimum wage as at 30 June 2013 in the Banking Finance and Insurance Award was $36,717 per annum. bankmecu’s lowest entry-level wage is $40,700 per annum, regardless of an employee’s employment category, gender or region of employment.

Remuneration for senior management is determined annually according to an agreed set of performance outcomes including actions identified through external commitments for sustainable development. Levels of remuneration are set in line with comparable roles in the Australian financial services sector.

Executive remuneration and performance reviews are presented to the Board via the Managing Director.

Average remuneration by gender, region and per employment category (2012/13)

Customer Service Consultants Metro Vic Non Metro Vic Customer Service Consultants Total
Total Female 51 126 177
% Females 77% 86% 83%
Female Average Salary $52,291 $51,898 $52,095
Female Average Remuneration $58,043 $57,607 $57,825
Total Males 15 20 35
% Males 23% 14% 17%
Male Average Salary $53,033 $50,944 $51,989
Male Average Remuneration $58,867 $56,548 $57,707
Total Employees 66 146 212
Total Average Annual Salary $52,662 $51,421 $52,042

Total Average Remuneration

$58,455 $57,077 $57,766
Supervisor* Supervisor Total
Total Female 28
% Females 67%
Female Average Salary $67,784
Female Average Remuneration $75,240
Total Males 14
% Males 33%
Male Average Salary $75,180
Male Average Remuneration $83,450
Total Employees 42
Total Average Annual Salary $71,482
Total Average Remuneration $79,345
Technical Metro Vic Non Metro Vic Technical Total
Total Female 16 9 25
% Females 67% 50% 61%
Female Average Salary 84,287 70,270 77,279
Female Average Remuneration 93,559 78,000 85,779
Total Males 8 9 17
% Males 33% 50% 39%
Male Average Salary 79,149 80,136 79,643
Male Average Remuneration 87,856 88,951 88,403
Total Employees 24 18 42
Total Average Annual Salary $81,718 $75,203 $78,461
Total Average Remuneration $90,707 $83,476 $87,091
Management Metro Vic Non Metro Vic Management Total
Total Female 6 11 17
% Females 35% 50% 43%
Female Average Salary $125,961 $83,806 $104,884
Female Average Remuneration $139,817 $93,025 $116,421
Total Males 11 11 22
% Males 65% 50% 57%
Male Average Salary $129,068 $97,145 $113,106
Male Average Remuneration $143,266 $107,830 $125,548
Total Employees 17 22 39
Total Average Annual Salary $125,515 $90,475 $108,995
Total Average Remuneration $141,541 $100,428 $120,984
Executives Metro Vic Executive Total
Total Males 5 5
% Males 100% 100%
Male Average Salary $364,044 $364,044
Male Average Remuneration $404,089 $404,089

* Staff members are grouped to ensure there are five or more employees in a given category.

The annual salary figure listed is the staff member’s salary only. The total remuneration figure includes both the salary and the superannuation paid.

Board remuneration is reported in the Director remuneration section of this report under Governance and item 5 of the Statutory Accounts.

All staff are eligible for a salary increase following their annual review, dependent on individual performance and budget constraints. In 2012/13, the salary structure for employees increased by 3 per cent.

Bonuses are not paid to managers or Executives.

Incentive payments for Grade 1 Customer Service Consultants are determined through the annual employee performance review system. In 2012/13, 72 per cent (2011/12: 94 per cent) of bankmecu customer service consultants received an average incentive payment of $777 (gross, pro-rata).

Other benefits for staff include:

  • salary packaging
  • examination leave
  • leave for blood donors and emergency service
  • gifts for significant milestones (10, 20 or 30 years of service, weddings and 21st birthdays)
  • gymnasium subsidies
  • flu vaccinations
  • quit smoking assistance
  • annual public transport ticket loan assistance
  • bicycle purchase loan assistance
  • study assistance

Differences in benefits provided to full-time and casual staff

A number of Human Resources policies only apply to permanent full-time and part-time employees. The following policies exclude fixed-term contract and casual employees:

  • redundancy and retrenchment
  • study assistance

Training and development

The annual staff performance review includes an assessment of professional and personal development opportunities for staff. These opportunities are then fulfilled through a combination of on-the-job and external training.

Internal training occurs through courses, self-paced learning and formalised on-the-job training. To complement training, all relevant information regarding legislation, products, policies, processes and procedures is available on bankmecu’s intranet and online Learning and Development System.

External training is provided by a number of different organisations. Staff undertaking undergraduate and post-graduate university and TAFE courses were supported by study assistance which includes funding for subject fees and time off to attend exams where required.

In 2012/13 staff completed 9,177 individual training activities, comprising approximately 295 categories of courses* including:

  • 275 short courses*
  • 13 conferences
  • 7 qualifications under bankmecu’s Traineeship Program or Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) requirements

*Definition of a ‘course’ at bankmecu is any form of training or seminar undertaken or attended, either internally or externally.

bankmecu spent a total of $257,056 (2011/12: $269,330) on employee training and development in 2012/13. This is equivalent to $845 per FTE (2011/12: $909).

The average number of hours spent in training per employee in 2012/13 was 40.96. This does not include attendance at conferences and qualifications training or any training completed by staff members whose employment terminated throughout the 2012/13 reporting period.

Employee training hours by gender and employment category undertaken in 2012/13

Employment Category Total Hours by Grade and Gender* Number of FTE Average Hours Per Employee
Grade 1 Female 6114.90    
  Male 1675.60    
Grade 1 Total    7790.50 180.18 43.24
Grade 2 Female 1210.90    
  Male 438.50    
Grade 2 Total    1649.40 48.10 34.29
Grade 3 Female 1102.60    
  Male 1019    
Grade 3 Total    2121.60 49.40 42.95
Grade 4 Female 205    
  Male 292    
Grade 4 Total    497 14.5 34.28
Grade 5 Female 72.50    
  Male 154.50    
Grade 5 Total    227 7 32.43
Grade 6 Male 151.20    
Grade 6 Total    151.20 4 37.80
Managing Director Male 21    
Managing Director Total    21 1 21
  Total Hours  12457.70 304.18 40.96


*Figures include actual training hours completed by all staff members (i.e. they are not calculated by FTE).

Average training by gender in 2012/13

  Number of FTE Hours of training completed Average number of training hours per year by gender* Total hours as % per gender
Female 211.09 8,705.90 41.24 69.88%
Male 93.09 3,751.80 40.30 30.12%
Total 304.18 12,457.70 40.96 100.00%

*The male and female figures shown are based on a rounded average. The actual total is shown, as per the detailed table below.

Training programs offered and hours undertaken in 2012/13 by gender

Policy and Procedure Training Training Modules Completed – Per Actual Employee Total Modules Completed Training Hours Completed Total Hours Training Completed  Average Hours Per FTE 
  Female Male Total Female Male Total  
Anti Money Laundering Training 310 91 401 312.50 91.00 403.50 1.33
Compliance Training 2,586 866 3,452 2,870.50 1,077.50 3,948.00 12.98
Cultural Awareness Training 22 8 30 52.00 26.60 78.60 0.26
Equal Employment Opportunity Training 92 34 126 107.00 48.00 155.00 0.51
Fire and Evacuation Training 248 93 341 186.50 76.00 262.50 0.86
Financial Services Reform Act Training 235 95 330  777.00  351.00  1,128.00 3.71 
Induction Training 30 12 42 225.90 90.10 316.00 1.04
Insurance Training 666 240 906 1,033.50 358.00 1,391.50 4.57
Job/Systems Training 1,800 688 2,488 2,225.20 1,147.10 3.372.30 11.09
Occupational Health and Safety Training 197 55 252 197.70 56.00 253.70 0.83
Policy Training 163 116 279 324.50 292.50 617.00 2.03
Sustainability Specific Training 274 156 530 393.60 138.00 531.60 1.75
Grand Total 6,723 2,454 9,177


3,751.80 12,457.70 40.96

Note: Staff may complete more than one training module under a course category within a given year. Figures include actual training hours completed by all staff members excluding staff who have terminated their employment within 2012/13 (i.e. they are not calculated by FTE).

Methods of training are periodically reviewed, with more sustainable methods considered. The use of web conferencing technologies has increased in 2012/13 as a means of delivering training across the organisation.

New staff induction days are held approximately every two months and are a collaborative effort of Executive, management and staff. A presentation is given by a representative from each department on what the department does and how the department fits into the organisational structure.

Topics covered include brand, wellness, policies and procedures, Financial Services Reform Act, anti-money laundering training, equal employment opportunity, bullying and harassment, fire and evacuation, armed hold-up, company structure, Occupational Health & Safety, performance planning, the benefits of working at bankmecu, the history and culture of bankmecu and that of the national and international customer owned banking movements.

After induction, staff receive regular updates on company initiatives and performance through staff team meetings, corporate communications, intranet and one-on-one meetings with line managers.

Staff brand literacy and sustainability training

In 2012/2013 we saw the rollout of the online bankmecu brand training program. The program provided staff with specific knowledge on brand and sustainability strategy in a format which both increased staff knowledge on the bankmecu brand and their confidence in communicating our responsible approach to banking to customers. The program is included both for existing staff members and as part of the induction program for new staff.

Throughout 2012/2013

  • ‘Sustainability at bankmecu‘ presentations were included in the staff induction program. This gives new staff an overview on what sustainability means for us and why we have embraced it. All speakers include sustainability elements in their presentation and explain the expectations and benefits of working in a company that values sustainable work practices
  • ‘EcoDrive’ training is also provided in all employee inductions, providing guidance on safe and fuel-efficient driving techniques
  • Members of the Footprints Committee were given the opportunity to attend various sustainability events and programs throughout 2012/2013. For example, Greenstreets Australia events, United Nations Global Compact Network Australia Human Rights Leadership Groups for Business, Waste Wise events and other events

Forums and conferences

Staff and Directors have the opportunity to attend various other forums and conferences throughout the year to increase their knowledge of the banking sector and sustainability. Staff and Directors attended the following during 2012/13:

  • International Cooperative Summit
  • Australian Mutual Institute (AMI) Educational Briefings
  • Abacus Directors’ and CEOs’ Forum
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors Annual Conference
  • Trust For Nature – Biodiversity Conference
  • Lexis Nexis – Credit Law Conference
  • Credit Union Breakfast 2012
  • Global Alliance for Banking on Values Conference
  • Credit Union Insight Conference
  • World Council of Credit Union WOCCU Conference
  • Department of Climate Change and Energy: Carbon Farming Initiative and the Banking Sector
  • All Energy Conference 2012
  • Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) Australia Network Meeting
  • CPA Australia & ICAA IIRC Framework Workshop
  • Mutuals Regional Alliance Chapter Meeting

Health and Safety

A number of policies and procedures are in place to deal with occupational health and safety (OHS) issues. All incidents are recorded and, where necessary, appropriate action is taken.

OHS Committee

The Bank has in place an OHS Committee designed to represent all staff in consultation with management on OHS issues and opportunities. bankmecu currently has 10 representatives across the business, from Melbourne, Western Victoria, Gippsland and interstate. They include staff who are based in service centres and representatives from head office.

The OHS Committee facilitates consultation between staff and management on matters relating to the health, safety and welfare of staff. The committee also organises educational campaigns and introduces new initiatives in the workplace.

Any injury or incident that affects a staff member is documented and reported to Human Resources and the OHS Committee. Some injuries may become workers’ compensation claims.

Number of OHS injuries and incidents

Year 2012/13 2011/12 2010/11 2009/10 2008/09 2007/08 2006/07
Injuries* 5 9 22 12 14 7 6
Incidents** 10 3 1 2 8 4 9

* An injury is where a person encounters physiological or psychological change as a result of an incident or hazard. An incident is an OHS event that affects staff but does not result in physiological or psychological change. The total number of incidents does not include injury numbers.

** An incident is an OHS event that affects staff but does not result in physiological or psychological change. The total number of incidents do not include injury numbers.

During 2012/13 no new workers compensation claims were accepted, however a total of 36 lost work days were recorded.

OHS training completed in 2012/13

Policy and Procedure Training Training Modules Completed – Per Actual Employee Total Modules Completed Training Hours Completed Total Hours Training Completed Average Hours Per FTE
  Female Male Total Female Male Total  
Occupational Health and Safety Training 445 148 593 384.20 132.00 516.20 1.70

All staff receive training in OHS areas, both within their induction process and as an annual training requirement. Training includes general OHS training, manual handling, office ergonomics and training specific to bankmecu OHS processes and procedures. In 2012/13 staff undertook a total of 516.20 hours of OHS training, which included Fire and Emergency training (262.5 hours).


Part of bankmecu Occupational Rehabilitation Policy requires that, in the event of an accident, the Bank will endeavour to do its best to return staff to their full capacity within the organisation. If this is not possible, bankmecu will assist staff with vocational rehabilitation so that they may return to a meaningful role within their community. The Bank uses the services of an accredited rehabilitation provider to assist with this process wherever necessary.


OHS policies are supported by a Wellness Policy, which outlines the subsidies provided to staff for:

  • health club memberships
  • assistance to quit smoking
  • loan assistance for purchasing a bicycle
  • annual public transport cards
  • free flu injections

The staff sustainability reference group, Footprints, promotes wellness initiatives throughout the year.

In 2013, Work Health Checks were offered to eligible staff across the organisation.

Unscheduled absenteeism at bankmecu

Year Average number of unscheduled absentee days per employee (FTE) Total hours Total cost
2012/13 9.6 22,249.70 $573,520
2011/12 6.9 15,599.61 $412,211
2010/11 6.5 15,237.61 $465,280
2009/10 5.9 14,014.38 $397,847
2008/09 6.7 11,495.28 $310,981
2007/08 6.1 8,788.50 $210,997
2006/07 6.3 8,784.30 $210,863

Despite bankmecu OHS and wellbeing policies, staff suffer from various illnesses and injuries during the year. The table above outlines paid unscheduled absenteeism over the past seven years.

The total hours of unscheduled absenteeism in 2012/13 is inclusive of 5518 hours of unpaid unscheduled absenteeism. The cost of unscheduled absences is affected by the seniority of a given staff member and their associated pay level.

Females accounted for 79 per cent of the total unscheduled leave taken. By region, 39 per cent of unscheduled leave was taken in Metro Melbourne, 28 per cent in Gippsland, 18 per cent in Western Victoria and 15 per cent interstate. This is consistent with the organisation’s employee profile.

External support for employees

bankmecu contracts Davidson Trahaire to provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP offers a professional confidential counselling service as well as education, training, prevention and risk control programs and necessary treatment options for employees and their immediate family members, which is paid for by bankmecu.

The average utilisation rate of the EAP is 3.69 per cent of staff over the past seven years.

Annualised EAP utilisation as a per cent of staff numbers

  01/07/12 – 30/06/13 01/07/11 – 30/06/12 01/07/10 – 30/06/11 01/07/09 – 30/06/10 01/07/08 – 30/06/09 01/03/07 – 28/02/08 01/03/06 – 30/06/07
Number of staff using EAP 8 12 19 11 9 4 16
Utilisation* (% of employees) 2.24 4.05 5.28 2.81 3.41 1.9 7.7

*Based on the total number of employees including Directors and staff on maternity leave or work cover.

Note: data provided by the service provider prior to 2008/09 was not provided for the financial year period. This was rectified once we started reporting EAP uptake in our annual reports.

EAP has been heavily promoted throughout the business. Feedback from employees who have utilised EAP services has been very positive.

Variances in the reporting timeframes for EAP periods listed in the table above exist due to changes in the format of data being received from the EAP provider over time.

As well as an EAP, bankmecu offers outplacement services to assist staff who are seeking continuing employment after retrenchment or redundancy. These services encompass résumé writing, job search and interview skills, as well as vocational counselling.

Staff recognition program

The Bank has explored different types of recognition programs to acknowledge and reward those staff members who make a significant contribution towards performance.

In 2009, we developed a recognition program to acknowledge and reward those staff members who make a significant contribution towards the Bank’s sustainable development.

Our third Superstar Awards took place in April 2012. All seven winners demonstrated a commitment to the sustainability of bankmecu beyond ‘business as usual’ and were rewarded with a visit to our Conservation Landbank and a chance to attend the Wimmera Biodiversity Seminar in September 2012.

bankmecu‘s Superstar Awards are supported by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, which meet the costs of the program.

Employee volunteering and fundraising

Our Community Support Policy outlines the Bank’s commitment and approach to community support through fundraising, payroll giving and support activities.

Fundraising at bankmecu

In 2012/13, bankmecu staff raised money for charities on a monthly basis through Casual Clothes Day. bankmecu staff were given the opportunity to participate in a survey to select non-government community organisations which are bankmecu customers. Throughout 2012/13 staff elected to support the following organisations:

Community Resilience, International Communities and Reconciliation

  • Carers Victoria
  • McCallum Disability Services Incorporated
  • Menslink Incorporated
  • Qantum Support Services
  • The Victorian Women’s Trust
  • CUFA
  • Aboriginal Housing Victoria


  • Earthwatch Instititute Australia
  • Greening Australia
  • Wild Mountains

Science and Health

  • Earthwatch Institiute Australia
  • Greenfleet
  • Parkinson’s Victoria

Payroll giving

Staff have the option of donating to charities of their choice through payroll giving. Staff collectively raised $5,881 in 2012/13 for various charities.

Corporate support

In April 2013 bankmecu supported a four-person team in the Oxfam 100 km Trailwalker event held in Melbourne. The team raised $2,590 for Oxfam. bankmecu contributed the $700 registration fee and $500 for expenses to support the team.

Human rights

The Bank is a signatory to UN Global Compact, which seeks to align its business strategies with the ten universally accepted principles, including the area of human rights.

All human rights issues are dealt with through our Human Resources policies, the National Employment Standards and the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010. Areas covered by Human Resources policies include:

  • Equal Opportunity
  • Workplace Behaviour
  • Racial and Religious Tolerance
  • Affirmative Action and Diversity
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Grievance Procedures
  • Acceptable Conduct
  • Staff Charter

These policies ensure all current and future staff are treated equally and with dignity and respect, regardless of role, gender, race, colour, religion, political persuasion or sexual orientation.

Freedom of association

Staff have freedom to join the industry trade union should they wish to do so. The Bank co-operates by deducting union dues from salaries on request and we facilitate onsite visits by union representatives. In 2012/13 all eligible employees were employed under the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010.

Equal Employment (Diversity) based training completed in 2012/13

Average Hours Per FTE

Policy and Procedure Training Training Modules Completed – Per Actual Employee Total Modules Completed Training Hours Completed Total Hours Training Completed Average Hours Per FTE
  Female Male Total Female Male Total  
Equal Employment Opportunity Training 92 34 126 107.00 48.00 155.00 0.51

Training in diversity is a core annual requirement for all staff. In 2012/2013 an online Bullying and Harassment training module was completed by staff. Separate modules were completed by Non Supervisory and Supervisory staff with the modules outlining the specific requirements at the differing levels. In 2012/2013 an average of 0.51 hours per employee was spent completing Equal Employment Opportunity training-related activities. No incidents of discrimination were identified or reported in the 2012/13 period.

Grievance system

The Grievance Policy provides for and encourages access to representation, appeals and grievance systems as required.

Performance management

If a potential performance management violation occurs, it is reported to the relevant manager and the Human Resources department. An investigation is undertaken to determine the depth and reasons for the potential breach and the appropriate action to be taken in accordance with our Acceptable Conduct Policy. Whenever staff members are engaged in performance management, they are entitled to have a support person with them during all conversations with management.

All matters, whether they are related to a grievance, discrimination, harassment or performance management, are considered confidential.

Staff have access on the Bank intranet to a fully documented process for dealing with performance management issues.

Indigenous people

All employees are considered equal and no specific guidelines and policies apply to Indigenous people. Opportunities to increase Indigenous employment participation are part of a commitment to develop employee diversity. We have a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) developed in collaboration with Reconciliation Australia.

Workplace behaviour

The Workplace Behaviour Policy articulates the performance management process and how all staff can lodge formal or informal complaints for victimisation and vilification, harassment and bullying. As part of ongoing formal training on behaviour in the workplace, staff undertake an online bullying and harassment staff awareness test and simulation training every second year.

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Investment grade credit rating

bankmecu will maintain a Standard & Poor’s credit rating of at least investment grade.

Standard & Poor’s credit rating

International rating agency Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed the Bank’s investment grade credit rating at BBB+/Stable/A-2. bankmecu was the first credit union and first customer owned bank in Australia to have been issued with a rating.

The Standard & Poor’s report cited a number of factors, supporting a stable outlook for the Bank, including sound management performance and strategy, very strong capital and earnings position and sound underwriting practices.

The rating reinforces the underlying strength in bankmecu’s customer owned approach to responsible low-risk lending, continued commitment to strong earnings performance and maintaining strong capital.

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