APRA data suggests the two Hunter-based banks will have combined residents' assets worth around $24 billion, while Brisbane-based Great Southern Bank has $21 billion.

It's been a period of solidification for the customer-owned sector, with Heritage Bank and People's Choice Credit Union also merging on Wednesday.

Not to be outdone, this merger would usurp NGM to become Australia's largest mutual, with more than $26 billion in residents' assets.

However, the two Hunter-based entities will retain and operate their retail brands, according to Group CEO Bernadette Inglis.

“This is a call we arrived at after very careful consideration, deciding that both brands’ history and performance scorecard meant they were each too strong an asset to part with," Ms Inglis said.

“The future is bright for customer-owned banking and given our financial strength, we are well-placed to lead the way in taking our way of banking to more Australians."

The merger has been around 18 months in the making, with the brands' respective boards agreeing to merge in August 2021, followed by member approval in November 2022.

The brand now has 1,600 employees and more than 600,000 customers. 

Despite the mergers, the two new institutions pale in comparison to Australia's largest banks; CBA has more than $1 trillion in residents' assets, for example.

According to the Customer-Owned Banking Association (COBA), the mutual banking sector has more than $150 billion in assets and five million customers across 58 institutions. 

Top 10 Customer-Owned Banks

Institution Assets (billion)
Great Southern Bank (formerly CUA) $21.024
Newcastle Permanent $14.589
Heritage Bank $13.964
People's Choice $12.659
Bank Australia $11.812
Teachers Mutual $10.905
Beyond Bank $10.519
Greater Bank $9.924
P&N Bank $9.321
IMB $8.912

Source: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, January 2023 ADI Statistics.


Advertisement

Need somewhere to store cash and earn interest? The table below features savings accounts with some of the highest interest rates on the market.

Provider

4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance

High Interest Savings Account (< $250k)

  • Bonus rate for the first 4 months from account opening
  • No account keeping fees
  • No minimum balance
4000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties

Savings Account (Amounts < $250k)

  • A high-interest online savings account with no monthly fees, easy withdrawals and award-winning digital banking
  • No withdrawal notice periods or interest rate penalties
010000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
  • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
  • No account fees
  • Easy access to your money

Saver Account (<$250k)

  • Earn up to 5.40% pa by depositing $1,000 in the previous month
  • No account fees
  • Easy access to your money
02000$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]$product[$field["value"]]More details
No monthly fees
  • Download the App to open your account
  • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
No monthly fees

Save Account

  • Download the App to open your account
  • Get better visibility of your spending within App!
  • Deposit $200 per month to activate bonus interest
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

All products with a link to a product provider’s website have a commercial marketing relationship between us and these providers. These products may appear prominently and first within the search tables regardless of their attributes and may include products marked as promoted, featured or sponsored. The link to a product provider’s website will allow you to get more information or apply for the product. By de-selecting “Show online partners only” additional non-commercialised products may be displayed and re-sorted at the top of the table. For more information on how we’ve selected these “Sponsored”, “Featured” and “Promoted” products, the products we compare, how we make money, and other important information about our service, please click here. Rates correct as of April 20, 2024. View disclaimer.

Photo by Alan Gore on Unsplash