Recently the two boardrooms of Newcastle-based banks Greater Bank and Newcastle Permanent agreed to merge.
In April the boards of Toowoomba-based Heritage Bank and Adelaide-based People's Choice also agreed to merge.
Over the past decade, the number of mutual and customer-owned banks has reportedly halved, with fewer than 70 existing today.
Samuel Philipos, director of mortgage brokers Benevolence Financial Group (BFG), explained why these mergers are happening.
"For customer owned banks such as Newcastle Permanent, Greater bank, Heritage and People's Choice, mergers are a strategic avenue for banks to drive growth and reduce costs through economies of scale," Mr Philipos told Savings.com.au.
That said, the United States' Citigroup is leaving 13 countries, not just Australia.
"Citibank's acquisition may have been as a result of a similar target demographic to NAB's target market. Similarly with BOQ acquiring ME Bank and Virgin Money, this is enabling BOQ to compete more effectively with the bigger players," Mr Philipos said.
10 Largest Customer-Owned Banks Australia
Here's how Greater Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, and People's Choice Credit Union compare to other customer-owned banks in terms of customer assets on the books.
|Great Southern Bank (formerly CUA)||$20.554|
Source: Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, March 2022 ADI Statistics
These figures pale in comparison to the largest banks in Australia - for example, Commonwealth Bank holds more than $900 billion in assets on its books.
The table below displays a range of home loans for owner occupiers from customer-owned institutions.
Heritage Bank – Discount Variable Home Loan ($150k+) (LVR < 70%)
IMB Bank – Budget Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 70%)
P&N Bank – & Basic Home Loan (LVR < 60%)
Newcastle Permanent – Real Deal Variable Home Loan Special (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)
Bank Australia – Basic Home Loan (LVR 60%-70%)
Image by Chelsea Pridham on Unsplash
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