“Forever hungry” to offer Australians a better option, says Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s MD.
With a clear vision to be Australia’s bank of choice, the Group’s Managing Director, Marnie Baker outlined how the Bank’s customer focus, high trust ratings, proven innovation, customer advocacy and the public’s distrust of Australia’s big four banks provides the “perfect” platform for business growth.
“More so than ever, Australians are questioning their choice of banks and more than ever Australia needs a bank like ours – a strong and innovative bank that looks after the interests of its customers and understands what it means to represent community expectations. A bank that feeds into the prosperity of customers and communities, not off them,” Ms Baker said.
“The biggest contrast for me, when trust in the banking industry is at an all-time low, is the recent net trust score released from Roy Morgan which lists us as the most trusted bank in Australia, and in the top 10 most trusted brands in Australia across all industries, not just banking.
“That’s trust we have earned by doing exactly what we say we’ll do and something we need to continue to live up to.”
Ms Baker discussed how continued investment in future proofing the business, customer experience and simplification would drive long-term success for the organisation. Baker also addressed the Bank’s long-term history of innovation and capability.
“We are also focussed on changing the current perception that it is too hard to switch banks, that alternatives like Bendigo and Adelaide Bank don’t have the capability of the big four banks, are not innovative and are behind in technology. All of which is not true,” she said.
“We have all the products and services, skills and capabilities that Australian consumers – with their many, unique financial aspirations - are looking for in a bank, and more.
“We are the fifth largest retail bank in Australia. A regionally-founded organisation that holds true to its strongly grounded values, is nationally represented in every state and territory across the country and globally recognised for our unique Shared Value banking model. We have a deeply ingrained sense of doing well by doing good.”
Customer and community prosperity remains at the forefront for the Bank as it announced this week more than $205 million has been returned to Australian communities in the twenty years of the innovative Community Bank® model, including more than $22 million in the past financial year.
“That’s almost one dollar for every Australian,” Ms Baker said.
“I am extremely proud to lead this organisation, an organisation with both capability and heart, embodying strong values and a commitment to always act in the customer’s best interests. An organisation that understands the privileged role that we play in the community.”
Chairman Robert Johanson discussed how the rapidly changing banking industry has resulted in recent significant investments in the business.
“Customers now expect to be able to transact with us instantly, from wherever in the world they are, with trust and confidence. We need to invest in our capacity and provide fair and growing returns to all our stakeholders,” Mr Johanson said.
“Over the past few years we have invested large amounts in improving our ability to understand and manage risk in the business. We continue to make big investments in systems and new technological developments. We’ve invested in Tic:Toc which is a purely online home loan application and approval system: you can get a loan approved within 22 minutes. And our digital bank, Up, is Australia’s first all-in-app bank.”
Mr Johanson also addressed the findings from the Productivity Commission, noting the competitive disadvantage of non-major banks in the absence of a level playing field. “It has been said that in Australia we really only have one major bank; it just operates under four different colours,” he said.
“One of the fundamental causes of the current crisis in financial services in Australia is the lack of true competition in Australian banking that has allowed the major banks to focus so much on shareholder returns at the expense of customers.
“If trust in banking is to be restored, it is crucial that organisations with different objectives and standards are able to compete on a level playing field and customers can choose accordingly.
“We will be working to ensure the reforms proposed by the Productivity Commission to promote competition are implemented,” he concluded.
The meeting re-elected Vicki Carter and Tony Robinson. The meeting passed all resolutions and the Remuneration Report.