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CEO to step down after 5 years at the helm of credit union CUA

two businessmen

Australia’s largest credit union, CUA, has announced that Chief Executive Officer Rob Goudswaard will step down from the role, after electing not to extend his five-year contract.

CUA Chairman Nigel Ampherlaw said that Rob would continue as CEO while an extensive search is undertaken over the coming months for either an internal or external successor for the role.

“Since joining CUA in February 2015, Rob has led CUA through a transformative period of member growth, digital innovation and industry change, which has strengthened the mutual sector,” Mr Ampherlaw said.

“Rob will be leaving CUA in a much better place than when he joined us. He’s set us on a journey to not only become a stronger and more member focused credit union, but for CUA to build on the trust that will enable us to continue to challenge other larger banks into the future.

“The Board appreciates that after nearly five years in Brisbane, and close to a decade living in multiple cities, Rob is looking to pursue new opportunities that will allow him to spend more time closer to his home base of Melbourne.”

Mr Ampherlaw said Rob’s contributions to CUA, and the mutual sector, were well respected not only within CUA but across many external stakeholder groups, earning him the CEO Magazine’s Financial Services Executive of the Year Award last year.

Among Rob’s many achievements during his time at CUA, some of the highlights include:

  • Starting CUA on a cultural transformation ahead of the curve, making culture a clear priority before the Financial Services Royal Commission emphasised its critical role in meeting community expectations;
  • Leading record member growth which has seen CUA pass 490,000 banking members – or 530,000 including CUA Health policy holders. CUA also reached new benchmarks in lending with over $13 billion in loans under management, and retail deposits which now exceed $10 billion;
  • Spearheading CUA’s focus on digital banking as a way to build stronger human connections. This included establishing CUA’s role as the exclusive Australia-New Zealand partner in an international collaboration with Umpqua and de Volksbank in 2017, leading to the rollout of the Australian first app iM CUA, which now has more than 12,000 registered users;
  • Participating in industry-wide government and stakeholder advocacy around the Hammond Review. This resulted in legislation being passed by the Parliament recently that will deliver new capital raising options to increase the agility and competitiveness of mutuals.

Mr Ampherlaw said further details about the transition to a new CEO, including the timeframe for Rob’s departure and the appointment of his successor, were yet to be finalised and would be communicated in the coming months. In the meantime, he said CUA remained well positioned, with a high calibre executive team in place, who would continue to drive CUA’s vision and strategic transformation to deliver benefits for members.

“I’d like to personally acknowledge and thank Rob for his commitment to CUA and for his support of the Board. His drive and passion for providing the best possible member experience, and his ambition to position CUA for the future, are unrivalled,” Mr Ampherlaw said.