Customer-owned banks, sometimes called mutual banks, are similar to regular banks in most ways. They’re regulated the same way, by the same industry bodies and provide most of the same retail banking products that the bigger banks provide - from home loans, to savings accounts, credit cards and investments.
With that said, there’s one key distinction that makes a big difference. Regular banks are owned by their shareholders, while customer-owned banks like Qudos are owned by their customers.
Why ownership matters
The way that a business is owned often determines its goals. The big four banks are listed on the stock market and owned by their shareholders, meaning one of their primary objectives is to maximise returns for those shareholders. In simple terms, that means increasing their share price and paying dividends by increasing profits.
Customer-owned banks are not listed on the stock exchange. Instead, every customer owns a little bit of the company. In most cases these banks were established by communities of people with shared interests looking to share financial value with their friends, family and local community. Because we don’t have to drive returns for shareholders, we can offer our customers more value through more competitive rates and fairer fees. Because Qudos Bank affords its members one vote each, every member has an equal say in the governance of the company.
Giving back to the community
Like many customer-owned banks, Qudos is deeply embedded in our local community.
We regularly donate to charities and causes around Australia to help support our communities and the environmental landscape our future generations will inherit. We’re proud to have donated $150,000 to assist in the relief and recovery efforts supporting communities impacted by the devastating 2020 bushfires; and over the last 10 years more than 46,000 trees have been planted on our behalf by Greenfleet.
To learn more about our community initiatives, visit our 'Charities initiatives' webpage.
Saving you money (and growing your wealth)
As well as doing our bit to save the environment, we also want to save you money. Because we invest most of our profits into offering you better products, we’re able to offer low-interest rates on loans, high-interest rates on saving accounts and in many cases $0 bank fees.
You don’t have to take our word for it. Research from Choice1 has shown that customer-owned banks consistently offer better interest rates on their products, including home loans.
If you’re a Qudos customer, you’re a part-owner of our bank and you’re already experiencing all of the financial benefits of customer-owned banking (while helping us give back to the community). If you’re not a customer yet, you can apply for most of our products on our website or get in touch any time if you need a helping hand.
Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.
Before opening an account with us, you should read our Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and Payment Services and Financial Services Guide. Normal lending criteria, terms and conditions and fees and charges apply. Mortgage insurance is required for home loans over 80% and is subject to approval.
Published February 2022