Newsletter Web Cover Image 840x420_FA.jpg

April 2022

As a member-owned bank, it’s important that we keep you up-to-date with the latest information, ranging from what’s critical for you to know, to what we’ve been up to in the community. Below is your latest newsletter for the most recent quarter. Grab a cuppa, and enjoy the read!

 

10585_QC_From_the_CEOs_Desk_Website_Banner_1200x200_FA.jpg

I hope this newsletter finds you safe and well following the recent flooding and subsequent devastation in South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. This has certainly demonstrated how vulnerable our communities are to natural disasters and provided a stark reminder of how exposed we all are to increased weather events brought on by climate change.

Toggle Item

Read on for the full quarter in review

With thousands of our Members impacted by the floods, like all Queenslanders we felt compelled to help. I’m pleased to share that the Boards of our bank and health fund were quick to support a donation of $50,000 to the GIVIT Storms and Flooding Appeal.

GIVIT is a charity we have partnered with in the past to support Queensland during the bush fires, and they are once again providing assistance directly where it is needed most.

We want to contribute to a more sustainable future and have therefore launched a new Green Car Loan, at a very competitive interest rate, to help members buy a hybrid or electric car to reduce emissions into the atmosphere. In May we will also launch a Green Reno Loan, offering a substantially discounted lending rate for the purchase and installation of eligible clean energy products. These are the first steps in a range of initiatives we will progress with to reduce our impact on the environment and to help our Members make these choices too.

Queensland Country Bank is proceeding with some significant digital projects over the next 12 months that will deliver meaningful improvements in the digital services available to our Members via the banking app, our website and internet banking.  We will make it easier to apply for a loan online, access information and manage your cards and payments.

To bring you these improvements, we are transitioning to a new BSB number, and all Members will soon receive new debit and credit cards. We know these changes will cause a temporary inconvenience, but the benefits will be long-term. Your support and patience is most appreciated as we make these changes to become a more advanced digital bank that is even more secure from a cyber security perspective.

We have seen strong demand for home loans, personal loans and business loans that has resulted in record lending for the organisation over the past six months. Thank you to those Members who have placed your trust in us to help purchase and invest in what will be your most important assets.

We are very mindful of the important role we play in achieving these goals and are therefore investing in technology and our people to be a market leader in lending money and helping our Members. I look forward to sharing more details regarding these advancements in coming months.

Aaron Newman

Chief Executive Officer

imagee5b8d.png

Toggle Item

$50K donation supports Queensland flood recovery

Following the devastating impacts of recent weather events, the Queensland Country Group (Queensland Country Bank and Queensland Country Health Fund) has donated $50,000 to the GIVIT Storms and Flooding Appeal.

CEO Aaron Newman said the donation was a combined effort from both the bank and health fund, as part of their member-owned commitment to supporting the local community.

“After speaking to the team at GIVIT, we feel very confident that our donation will make a tangible difference to the flood recovery for Queenslanders,” he said.

GIVIT Founder Juliette Wright said her organisation worked directly with councils, outreach teams, charities and community groups to identify exactly what’s needed to make sure people get what they need, when they need it.

“Many people have lost homes and livelihoods across parts of Queensland, with some still recovering from previous disasters as well as the impact of COVID lockdowns,” she said.

“This is a long-term recovery and GIVIT will be assisting people in these regions for many years.”

Alongside the donation, Queensland Country has assisted a number of impacted Members with a Disaster Support Package, which allows them to restructure accounts and defer loan repayments to get back on their feet.

Affected team members have also been supported with flexible working arrangements through Queensland Country’s Natural Disaster Leave Program, allowing time to support family and friends through the clean-up.  

Queensland Country is committed to continuing to support Members, staff and communities throughout the flood recovery with practical and financial support for as long as required.

2.png

Toggle Item

Packaged home loan winner

Queensland Country Bank has been recognised in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards as offering one of the best packaged home loans in Australia for 2022.

The Ultimate Home Loan Package, available with either a fixed or variable interest rate, was judged alongside 63 competitor products by financial comparison website Mozo and was one of five recipients of the award.

Banking Expert and Awards Judge Peter Marshall said Mozo’s aim was to highlight the best value and highest quality options available to Australians.

“Queensland Country Bank being selected as a winner for this particular award demonstrates that they would be a great place to get good value across all your everyday banking needs,” he said.

Queensland Country CEO Aaron Newman said the organisation’s strong member focus helped to create a value driven product that has helped get more Queenslanders into their own homes.

“Being member-owned enables us to keep our fees low, and the Ultimate Home Loan Package was specifically developed to help people pay off their home sooner,” he said.

“We are very proud of this accolade, particularly as the awards are independently reviewed and assessed with no commercial input.”

Source: https://mozo.com.au/expertschoice/home-loans#award-release-1223

Fees and charges may apply to products. Normal lending criteria applies to loans.

 

3.png

Toggle Item

Improvements on the way

Members will receive communication in the coming months as we roll out some important changes to your banking experience.

There will be new debit/credit cards (with new numbers) sent to all Members, along with a new BSB number for the bank.  Individual card correspondence will also accompany your new card outlining function changes.

We know these changes will cause a temporary inconvenience, but they will enable us to bring you an enhanced banking experience in the future, with improvements such as:

  • Faster payments
  • Fee reductions
  • More digital wallet options
  • Better control of your cards
  • New rewards program

There is no need to contact us, as we will write to each Member individually with everything you need to know over the next few months. You may also like to keep an eye on queenslandcountry.bank/improvements for updates.

It’s a good idea to make sure we have your most current contact details (including email and mobile number if you have these) so that you won’t miss important communication from us. You can update your details in internet banking, the mobile app, or by getting in touch.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we build a better banking future for us all.

Toggle Item

Pop-up shops help families get school savvy

Getting kids back-to-school ready was made easier for families in January thanks to School Savvy NQ’s second annual pop-up shops, sponsored by Queensland Country Bank. 

The initiative, created by Centacare NQ, provided preloved uniforms and basic stationery at extremely low cost to reduce the financial burden on families.

Queensland Country CEO Aaron Newman said the bank was proud to play a role in helping to break down financial barriers for families.

“We are always looking for ways to give back to the community,” he said.

“In addition to our financial sponsorship, it was great to see 12 of our team members volunteer their time to work in the pop-up shops at Townsville and Burdekin.

“This was made possible through our Community Volunteer Program, which encourages staff to take up to two days of paid leave per year to support worthwhile causes.”

Centacare NQ Director Stephen Burrowes said that with an estimated 17% of children in Australia affected by poverty, School Savvy’s aim was to help alleviate the stress on families that often accompanies the beginning of a new school year.

“We want to ensure those families who are struggling financially are able to access the necessary equipment for school in one central place at a really affordable price,” he said.

 

3.png

Toggle Item

Fast payments, simple as

The days of sharing your BSB and account number to receive money, plus waiting around for payments to hit your account, are long gone!

Many Queensland Country Members are already enjoying the benefits of fast payments with PayID, and you can too.

Simply allocate a unique, easy to remember PayID (such as your email address or mobile number) to any of your accounts. Then share this PayID, instead of your BSB and account number, with whoever is sending you money.

Funds sent to your PayID (even from other banks) will be processed and received instantly!

To register a PayID, select ‘Manage PayID’ from the main menu in the Queensland Country mobile banking app, or from the Accounts menu in internet banking. You can also contact us to register a PayID for you (especially if you want to allocate something other than your email address or mobile number to your account).

Create PayIDs for as many accounts as you like and rest easy knowing you can keep the same PayIDs forever - they can be transferred to different accounts as your banking needs change, including at other financial institutions.

Receive payments the fast, simple way today. Learn more at: payid.com.au

Toggle Item

Beware of classified scams

Classified websites like Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree are popular options for people to buy and sell goods. Unfortunately, they are also targeted by scammers trying to rip people off.

Scamwatch has provided the information below to understand how classified scams work. This is followed by tips from the Queensland Country fraud team on what you can do to protect yourself, so you can continue to safely enjoy buying and selling on classified sites.

How buyers are scammed

Scammers will pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads for absolutely anything, such as used cars, furniture, clothing or even pets. The ad may include pictures and other details, which are often copied from a genuine seller’s ad.

In order to lure victims, the scammer advertises the item at a low price, often much lower than comparable items advertised on the same site.

When you show interest in the item, the scammer may claim they are travelling or have moved overseas and that an agent will deliver the goods following receipt of payment. Following payment, you may receive a fake email receipt claiming to be from the website’s secure payment provider. However, you won’t receive the goods and will not be able to contact the seller.

How sellers are scammed

Scammers will pose as genuine buyers and may make up stories such as needing your help to pay an agent or third party for upfront costs like transportation or insurance. They may promise you reimbursement for these costs.

Alternatively, the scammer may send a cheque for more money than the agreed sale price. The scammer will invent an excuse for the overpayment and ask you to refund the excess amount – usually through an online banking transfer, pre-loaded money card, or a wire transfer – before you discover that their cheque has bounced.

In both cases, you will lose the money you gave the scammer, and if you have already sent the item you were selling, you will lose that as well.

Tips to avoid scams from the Queensland Country fraud team

For buyers:

  • Sight high value items before purchase and pay in person. If the item is not located locally, arrange your own agent (independent of the seller) or someone you trust to sight the item.
  • Organise your own courier/transport logistics (independent of the seller) for high value items and pay them directly.
  • If you agree to have an item posted to you, research payment methods that offer buyer/seller protection, such as PayPal. Keep in mind that payments made via money order, wire transfer, international transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency cannot usually be recovered.

For sellers:

  • Do not post any items until payment has cleared in your bank account. Check the money is there and don’t rely on emails or text messages advising of successful remittance, as these may be fake.
  • Be wary of interstate or foreign buyers who request you to pay a logistics company or courier for them, with the promise they will credit you for the full amount. Consider selling to local buyers, with cash payment on pick-up.
  • Avoid any transactions that involve an overpayment. If you have been sent a cheque for more money than the agreed price, send it back and ask for another cheque with the correct amount.

Remember…

If you are ever unsure about a situation or feel something doesn’t seem right, the best thing is to not proceed. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it possibly is.

Report potential scams immediately to Queensland Country Bank and Australian Cyber Security Centre.