A message from our

CEO & Chairman

The year just gone has been one of significant economic, health, environmental and social challenges, which have impacted many of our members as well as CUA. Despite these challenges we’ve stayed focussed on our strategy of supporting and improving services to our members.

We continue to invest in technology and have delivered targeted financial assistance to help those impacted by the unprecedented summer bushfires and COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch video

As we look ahead to our 75th year, we continue our focus on growing in relevance and value to our members, while introducing new generations to customer-owned banking. It is a banking alternative grounded in purpose, embraced by members and relevant now, more than ever, as Australians seek trust and empathy from their financial institutions.

Our history has shown us that when we and our members face challenges together, we grow stronger. We are confident we will emerge from this period of sustained crisis even more connected to our shared purpose.

We are proud and privileged to present this report on a year that has been unlike any other in our history.

Our sustainable performance in a challenging year

A solid and sustainable financial performance means we can deliver more value to members today and into the future. Over the past 12 months we’ve grown our assets, strengthened our capital position and welcomed more than 19,000 new customers, reflecting the underlying strength of our business.

We finished the year with growth across consolidated assets (up 2.5 per cent to $16.15 billion), retail deposits (up 4.7 per cent to $11.08 billion), loans under management (up 1.0 per cent to $13.58 billion) and we further enhanced our already strong capital adequacy ratio to 14.38 per cent (up 0.08 per cent). Overall, despite the economic challenges we faced, CUA Group posted a Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) of $37.31 million, down just 1.2 per cent on 2019.

These outcomes reflect our strategic focus on growing transactional banking, through which we’ve boosted retail deposits and attracted more young customers to join CUA. We’ve also focused on sustainable increases in our assets – pursuing more moderate home loan balance growth relative to the wider financial system. Combined with careful cost management and a wholesale funding strategy aimed at mitigating market volatility, we ended FY20 in a good position to manage the pressures we expect will continue across the industry beyond this year.

CUA Health made a significant contribution to the group result, recording $6.13 million in NPAT. We issued 6,500 new health policies during the year and saw particularly strong growth in those joining via digital channels. We paid $126 million in benefits, up 2.2 per cent from the prior year. More than $3.6 million was returned in savings to policy holders through the 4 per cent discount for those with both CUA banking and health insurance. A further $350,000 in discounts were awarded to policy holders under the age of 30.

Investing in better customer experiences

One of the most important measures of our success is customer satisfaction and we’re heartened this increased in FY20. Our overall Net Promoter Score – a measure of how likely our members are to recommend us to their family and friends – significantly increased. In particular, satisfaction levels improved for credit cards, mobile banking and our CUA Direct contact centre.

This reflects our commitment to delivering the things our members value: faster and simpler digital experiences, enhanced cybersecurity, competitive products and easy ways to connect with us. All of these have been a key focus for us in FY20. We also began the transformation of our home lending system which will ultimately deliver faster decision making and a smoother home buyer journey.

We have continued to evolve our product offering to meet the needs of existing and new members. The launch of our Everyday Snap account – with no monthly fees and a seamless account opening experience – has introduced CUA to new generations, with millennials making up half of all account holders. Meanwhile, the Youth eSaver Account continues to be consistently rated one of the best in market with its competitive interest rate.

Our commitment to our members has been independently recognised. For the third year running we won MOZO’s Best Large Credit Union award, while Forbes ranked us among the top 10 Australian banks. Further, a Judge’s Award from global technology organisation ConfirmIT highlights our commitment to understanding and acting upon customer feedback.

Supporting our members through highs and lows

This has been a year of extremes and we have continued to stand with our members through life’s high points as well as its challenges. We’re proud to have helped hundreds of members achieve the dream of home ownership, with $244 million in loans approved or in progress via the Australian Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme at 30 June 2020.

We have also supported our members and communities through unprecedented challenges during the bushfire crisis over summer and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, we have approved more than 4,300 member applications for financial assistance with repayments paused on nearly $1 billion in lending.

Our Financial Assistance Packages helped alleviate pressure during periods of financial stress, personal loss and uncertainty, by providing relief for members with home loans, small businesses, deposits, personal loans and health insurance. CUA waived fees for a range of services members relied upon during this time.

We paused premium payments on almost 500 health insurance policies where customers were financially impacted by COVID-19, and deferred our annual premium increase by six months.

This help has made a much-needed difference – 94 per cent of members who’ve taken up our Financial Assistance Package indicated they were highly satisfied with their experience.

Standing with our communities

CUA continued our longstanding commitment to supporting our communities by directing more than $1 million in FY20 to tackle socioeconomic challenges exacerbated by COVID-19 including family violence, digital exclusion and financial stress. These funds have helped organisations like the Financial Counselling Foundation, WIRE, Micah Projects and First Nations Foundation to support more Australians facing vulnerability.

A highlight of our community investment was the launch of CUA’s Connected Future partnership with the Australian Red Cross and social enterprise Infoxchange. Its objective – to increase social and financial inclusion through building digital and financial skills – has become more relevant as COVID-19 deepened the digital divide.

During the bushfire crisis, CUA also donated more than $180,000 to rural fire services across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

Our regular volunteering program delivered 446 days of support to our community partners before COVID-19 restrictions limited our ability to help on site. During the pandemic, we turned our efforts to remote volunteering through the Red Cross COVID Connect phone service program, tackling social isolation.

Recognising the resilience of our people

Our team members have continued to show tremendous dedication in their support for our members this year. Despite the barriers created by lockdowns and isolation, our people worked hard to maintain continuity of services, helping members to bank from home while safely operating our branch network during pandemic restrictions. The resilience of our people is to be commended and caps off a three-year trend of rising culture and engagement scores across our workforce.

We were also pleased to welcome a new team member to our executive – Alana Bailey joined us in July 2020 as our new Chief Financial Officer.

Looking to the future

We achieved an important milestone in our ongoing journey to grow mutual banking in Australia since our last Annual Report. At the 2019 Annual General Meeting members overwhelmingly supported an amendment to CUA’s Constitution that enables us to raise capital in the future while maintaining our mutual status. This outcome reflected many years of advocacy by CUA and our mutual sector peers. We are now in a stronger position to pursue future opportunities for growth, reinvention and transformation that will benefit our members, as and when they arise.

As we look ahead, we know Australia and the rest of the world continue to face significant health, social and economic challenges. We will embrace these challenges walking side-by-side with you, our members, and making decisions that are right for today and tomorrow. We have been, and always will be, stronger together.

Paul LewisCEO
Nigel AmpherlawChairman