A message from our

Chairman and CEO

In a year of increasing financial challenges for many Australians, we have continued to be guided by our purpose and by our founding principles and values as a customer-owned bank.

Our purpose – we’re here to help all Australians own their own home – is the north star that provides our direction and shapes our goals. Our principles ensure that we have our customers’ interests at the heart of everything that we do.

As our customers and communities have been impacted by rising rents and house prices, inflation and the increasing cost of living, we’ve stayed focused on how we, as a bank, are best able to help them to achieve their goals.

Supporting our customers and our community with impact

We continue to support customers who need our help, and further embrace our responsibilities towards the community and the environment.

We supported 2.9% of all Australian first-time buyers with lending, which is more than three times our overall home lending market share. Much of that lending has been provided through the Australian Government’s Home Guarantee Scheme, which is helping so many Australians to save on upfront costs so they can get into a home sooner with a smaller deposit.

We also provided $2 million in long-term financing to not-for-profit housing provider National Affordable Housing (NAH) to support more Victorian households to buy a home via the BuyAssist shared equity program. And we are providing value to customers – Canstar found our home loan customers saved an average of $1,256 in the 12 months to June 2023 by having their home loan with us rather than one of the Big 4 banks1.

The current economic environment has impacted many of our customers. We created over 25,000 payment plans to help customers who needed additional flexibility in their loan repayments. While our home lending arrears rates remain low compared to the industry average, we stand ready to help our customers where required.

We launched our second Build Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) to improve the financial wellbeing of customers, team members and communities, and completed all 35 actions from our inaugural Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Both the FIAP and RAP connect closely to our purpose by empowering stakeholders, including First Nations peoples, to live in a more financially secure environment, with greater control over their choice of home. We are currently preparing our second Innovate RAP, which we hope to launch in the coming months.

To help deliver on the commitments in our FIAP, we signed a partnership with Mission Australia through which we’ll invest $1 million over the next three years to help hundreds of community housing tenants cut their utility bills and reduce their carbon emissions. We made further progress towards reaching net zero emissions by 2040 – a key commitment in our Climate Action Plan - and retained our carbon neutral certification under Climate Active. We also developed green personal loans to help customers purchase emissions-cutting technology for their home and electric and hybrid vehicles.

Building a sustainable business

To be able to continue to support our customers and community, we need to grow a profitable, sustainable business.

We continue to grow our support for Australians looking to own their own home, with the total value of our home loans increasing by 6.6% to $15.58 billion.

Our total retail deposits increased by 9.0% to $13 billion, as more customers were attracted by our term deposit and savings account rates, as well as by our ethos as a customer-owned bank. During the financial year, our key savings products were in the top five market rates over 90 times2.

We made a net profit after tax of $44.5 million, a figure in line with average pre-COVID profits, while continuing to deliver service improvements, strong support for customers seeking competitive banking products, and solid customer growth. These profits are ultimately reinvested back into the bank for the benefit of our customers, and to ensure our continued sustainability in a challenging external environment.

In line with the best traditions of customer-owned banking, we are also investing in the development of a new digitally-led banking proposition to support the many Australian small businesses who have historically been under-served and largely ignored by the biggest banks. Through the partnership we announced with fintech Constantinople earlier this year, we are working towards rolling out a simple, intuitive banking alternative for small business in the 2024 financial year.

And finally, we believe our customer service is at its best when our team is highly engaged. We’re really pleased to have reached a new milestone in our employee engagement score, as measured by Gallup, placing us among the top quartile of all organisations globally. The focus on building an engaged workforce also saw us recognised in the AFR Boss Best Places to Work list for 2023.

A better future

These results reflect our best efforts to honour the principles and values we were founded on over three quarters of a century ago – to serve the customers who own us, to help those who have been financially excluded, and to make a positive impact on our communities, our team members and the environment.

We look forward to introducing more Australians to customer owned banking, and continuing to evolve to meet the needs of future generations.

Nigel Ampherlaw Paul Lewis
Great Southern Bank Chairman CEO and Managing Director

Download a PDF

2023 Annual Report
Important Information

1 Source: www.canstar.com.au, Great Southern Bank - Home loan cost comparison to major banks, August 2023.

2 Based on a weekly survey of Home Saver and Goal Saver in the ongoing bonus rate category, eSaver Flexi in the flat rate savings category and Youth eSaver in the youth category, benchmarked against comparable products offered by competitors.