Credit unions - the real alternative to the big banks
Following the recent introduction of his banking reforms, Treasurer Wayne Swan opened a credit union account in a bid to encourage Australians to pursue the best banking choice, not just the most popular one. Mr Swan said at the time, ‘‘I want to say credit unions generally ... are safe and they are competitive. There are alternatives in our system and if you’re not happy with your financial institution then shop around”.
When comparing your credit union to large banks there are a few things to keep in mind.
Credit unions are as safe as the big banks
Like banks, credit unions are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and your deposits are secured by the Government’s capital guarantee*.
Credit unions offer very competitive interest rates
Our focus on member benefits, rather than profits, means members can often access better returns on their savings and lower rates on mortgages and loans.
Credit unions offer a large range of products and flexible services
Just like the big banks, credit unions offer a full range of products and services, including:
- wide selection of savings and investment accounts, credit cards, insurance protection and loan products
- supplementary services like car buying and financial planning
- your choice of in-branch, over-the-phone or online options for transactions, support and advice.
Access to your funds can be worldwide
While credit unions do have fewer branches, customers can access all of their products, services and support either over the phone or online. Access to your money around Australia (and worldwide) is made easy with an extensive ATM network.
*The Federal Government’s Financial Claims Scheme (FCS) protects depositors in the event that a financial institution becomes insolvent. The FCS is administered by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, APRA. For further information on the FCS, including limits on the protection level, please visit the APRA website at www.apra.gov.au or phone the APRA hotline on 1300 13 10 60.
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