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January 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!

 

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As the New Year dawns, it’s often time for some reflection on the past 12 months and what has been achieved. 2021 was quite a year for Queensland Country Bank, with many new milestones achieved and positive outcomes delivered for Members.

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Read on for the full quarter in review

Record breaking months were experienced in October and November for lending, with loan approvals exceeding $140 million during this period. This demonstrates the buoyant property market in Queensland, and also that our value proposition is resonating with Members and consumers as more and more people chose Queensland Country to help them buy their dream house or car.

The value proposition we offer is centred around delivering great customer service and this has recently been recognised with Queensland Country Bank by ProductReview.com.au - an online forum where consumers can provide feedback about a company’s product and service. Based on feedback from Members, Queensland Country has been named Australia’s Top Rated Bank. Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave us a review!

Since transitioning from a credit union to a member-owned bank in early 2020, we’ve continued to make Member service a priority and we now have more branches in regional Queensland than some of the major banks. I hear from Members that being able to talk to an expert face-to-face when organising a loan is important, given the significance of the financial decision.

The issue of climate change continues to increase in awareness and concern for Members, along with the impact this could have on communities. We have been considering how Queensland Country could support Members to make environmentally friendly purchasing decisions. Our first product offering in this space launched early December with our Green Car Loan for plug-in hybrid and electric cars. There will be further environmental initiatives to come, which I look forward to sharing details of in the next few months.

Thank you to all Members for your ongoing support of our organisation and I wish you a very happy New Year.

Aaron Newman

Chief Executive Officer

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CEO Aaron Newman thanks new Member Wendy Johnston

for rating Queensland Country on ProductReview.com.au.

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Thanks for making us Australia’s Top Rated Bank!

Queensland Country has been named Australia’s Top Rated Bank in the 2022 ProductReview Awards.

The annual awards highlight the country’s top performing products and services as rated by the ProductReview.com.au community and represent the best and most reliable purchasing choices available to Australian consumers.

Queensland Country CEO Aaron Newman said his team was delighted to have beaten more than 80 other banks to take out the award.

“The sheer number of Members who have taken the time to write positive feedback about us on ProductReview.com.au shows that we are achieving our vision of being the most valued bank in our communities,” he said.

“We’re especially pleased that reviewers have recognised not only the outstanding features of our products, but the wonderful service they have received, as one of our core values is to put people first.

“We value all feedback and are very thankful for the Members who have helped us achieve the prestigious title of Top Rated Bank 2022.”

 

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Regional Manager Ralph Smither visits Edge Hill Tennis

Club members to inspect the new courts.

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Community grants continue to do good

The Queensland Country Good for Good Community Grants have provided a helping hand to not-for-profit groups across Queensland for the last five years.

One community project that has been recently completed thanks to Good for Good is the installation of four LED flood lights at the Gold City Bowls Club in Charter Towers.

Investing in this infrastructure will have a long-term impact for the community as the lighting helps the club remain financially sustainable through hosting evening functions.

Club Secretary Bob Wine said the $20,000 grant has enabled the club to resume their evening games and events, which previously had been suspended due to the lack of approved standard lighting.

“If we had not received the grant funding for the LED flood lights, we would not be able to proceed with the nighttime activities, which would have dramatically compromised our income,” Mr Wine said.

Further north, the Edge Hill Tennis Club in Cairns has also benefited from Good for Good, with the recent installation of four new synthetic grass courts.

Club President Tom Horn said the $18,350 grant has provided a safe playing environment, particularly for its older members.

“The previous synthetic grass courts constructed in 2009 had become well-worn and dangerous and needed to be replaced,” Mr Horn said.

The funding received ensures we can continue to keep our facilities in the safe condition that all our members deserve.”

Queensland Country Bank FNQ Regional Manager Ralph Smither said he was delighted to see Edge Hill Tennis Club receive a share of the $120,000 grant funding awarded last year

“As a member-owned bank that puts people ahead of profits, Queensland Country is proud to contribute to providing a safe meeting place for the community to come together and enjoy a friendly game of tennis,” Mr Smither said.

 

 

Rain, hail or shine. Prizes to be won!

*Click Learn more for terms and conditions

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First home buyers flock to Queensland Country

Queensland Country has supported a record number of Members to achieve their home ownership dreams, funding over $126 million in loans to first home buyers in the past 12 months.

The Federal Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme has been effective in helping young Australians get into the property market, requiring just a 5% deposit and no lender’s mortgage insurance, saving borrowers upwards of $10,000. 

CEO Aaron Newman said the Scheme had helped bring in new business that might not have previously considered Queensland Country.

“Not all financial institutions chose to apply as participating lenders, whereas we’ve taken the opportunity to help people get into the market because of our genuine interest in supporting first home buyers,” he said. 

“First home buyers predominately want to come into a branch to see an expert and we provide that personalised advice and service to support them through the process.”

It’s not just first home buyers who have been setting records for the bank. Queensland Country has had its strongest year ever, more than doubling lending volumes over the last 12 months.

Mr Newman said ultra-low interest rates, regional Queensland’s booming property markets and a change in consumer spending habits during the pandemic have been significant drivers for Queensland Country Bank to achieve a record-breaking year. 

“Our financial strength has ensured we’ve been well placed to capitalise on market conditions,” he said.

“Since transitioning from a credit union to a member-owned bank in early 2020, we’ve continued to make Member services a priority and we now have more branches in regional Queensland than some of the major banks.

“Lending is a key measure and core function of our business, so us achieving high lending volumes shows Members are engaged with us and trust us.

“Because we’re member-owned, everything we do is aligned with our values of putting people first, and I think consumers are starting to notice the benefits a mutual bank can provide and look beyond the traditional major banks for their lending needs.”

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Bucking the trend by staying local

While other financial institutions are closing branches throughout regional Queensland, Queensland Country Bank is committed to maintaining a local presence wherever possible.

We have recently invested in the renovation of our Cairns administration centre, along with a $285,000 refurbishment of our branch in Caneland Central.

CEO Aaron Newman said the improved Caneland Central branch, which includes more meeting spaces to offer Members privacy and comfort to discuss their financial goals, shows our commitment to offering face-to-face services to Mackay locals.

“As a member-owned bank we have the ability to make people-focussed decisions and our priority is servicing our Members,” he said.

“The national trend shows most major banks are closing branches, but that’s not the path we’re taking.

“Our branches are important, and although we’ll continue to focus on all channels, including our online service offering, we understand each Member has their preferred way of doing business with us and there are times when they need to be able to meet face-to-face and have a meaningful conversation about their financial goals.”

The Federal Government has launched a Regional Banking Taskforce to assess how the trend of branch closures impacts regional communities and to work collaboratively to identify possible solutions.

Mr Newman said as a member of the Customer Owned Banking Association, Queensland Country would continue to advocate for Queenslanders to have access to local banking services, as well as providing career opportunities in regional areas.

“While over the counter transactions may be decreasing in favour of internet banking, in-branch staff still play a pivotal role in servicing Members,” he said.

“Our Personal Banking Consultants continue to be trained and upskilled to assist Members to ensure we are matching them with the products and services that best suit their needs.”

 

 

 

Imagine if a car upgrade meant helping your planet?

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