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Newsletter January 2021

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!

 

From the CEOs desk

 

There is no doubt that 2020 was a challenging year for us all so I do hope that 2021 will look much differently for you.

At our Annual General Meeting which was held on 19 November, I announced that total assets for the 2019-2020 financial year for the Queensland Country Group had grown from $2.29 billion to $2.44 billion, representing a 6.48% growth. Although the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant decrease in demand for financial services products during the lock-down period, we did see a strong increase in business activity towards the end of the financial year. The Queensland Country Group finished the year with positive results, including record lending to Members for the purchase of new homes and cars. My sincere thanks to our Members for continuing to trust Queensland Country to help you achieve your financial goals. Should you wish to view our Annual Report, you can access here

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Read on for the full quarter in review

For the Health Fund, the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic also had a significant impact on the financial performance for the year. The Health Fund reacted quickly by postponing the April premium increase for six months, offered a six month suspension of policies for Members with uncertain financial outlooks due to the pandemic, provided one month free for those Members with short term financial difficulties and introduced new telehealth benefits for Members who could not see providers in person. The Health Fund saw total assets increase from $110.5 million to $117.3 million. The assets of the Health Fund are comprised mainly of investments that are held as reserves to support the business.

I wish to announce that Queensland Country Bank is proceeding with a transfer of Maleny Credit Union’s banking business into our organisation. The Boards of both organisations have recently signed a memorandum of understanding outlining the terms of the transfer and we are currently progressing with due diligence. Maleny Credit Union (MCU) is based in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast and as small community-based Credit Union, they have 3,000 Members and approximately $50 million in assets.

The transfer supports the organisation’s strategic vision of being “the bank for Queenslanders” by providing our first presence on the Sunshine Coast. It’s great to see that Queensland Country is well represented in most other regional centres in the state, particularly with the recent opening of our branch in Rockhampton.

In November, we had a few changes to our Bank and Health Fund Boards. We farewelled long term director, Bruno Cullen, who retired after 43 years of dedicated service to the Bank. We also welcomed Karen Read as the new Chair of the Health Fund Board following Michael Beard stepping down. Michael has been a director of the Health Fund since May 2001 and has extensive knowledge of the Health Fund industry.

He has held the position of Chair from April 2006 to November 2020. You may recall in 2019, Michael retired from the Bank Board after serving almost 35 years on that Board. His passion and commitment to Queensland Country has been strong and very much valued over the years, so I am pleased that Michael will remain on as a director of the Health Fund to assist Karen to settle into her new role until he retires in November 2021. Karen is also a very experienced Board member who has served on both Boards for approximately 15 years, so I would like to assure you that the Health Fund is in very good hands. I would also like to congratulate directors, Tony Williamson and Lewis Ramsay, on the confirmation of their reappointment to the Board, which was endorsed at the AGM.

This year, on 28 February, Queensland Country Bank will celebrate our 50th birthday. While we have grown significantly over the past 50 years, I am proud that our purpose and the reason we exist has never changed. From our humble beginnings, operating out of Room 17 of the Mount Isa Mines office, we now have a Head Office based in Townsville, administration offices in Cairns and Brisbane, 28 branches and over 400 staff. It is a credit to our Members, Board, Management and staff that we have grown to who we are today. In addition to a Member Meeting being held in Mount Isa in February, we have plans for a Queensland wide celebration on 23 February at all locations. More information on these events will be made available to Members soon.

I wish everyone a safe and prosperous 2021.

Further updates

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Honouring Bruno Cullen

After 43 years of dedicated service, Bruno Cullen AM retired from the Queensland Country Bank Board on 19 November 2020.

Commencing as Loans Manager in April 1977 for the then Isa Mine Employees’ Credit Union, Bruno held various Management positions, progressing from Loans and Finance Manager and Assistant General Manager through to Managing Director. Bruno has been a Director on the Board since 2001 and Chairman from April 2006 to March 2020.

Bruno is proud to be the 677th Member of The Isa Mine Employees’ Credit Union (which is today named Queensland Country Bank). We wish Bruno all the best with his future and thank him for his significant contribution to Queensland Country Bank.

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Changes to statements

As advised in our last newsletter, effective 1 January 2021, Queensland Country Bank will be changing the frequency with which we issue statements on our savings accounts and fixed term deposit accounts from quarterly to six monthly. Savings accounts which have a credit facility attached will continue to receive monthly statements. Accordingly, the next statement issued for savings and fixed term deposit accounts will be dated 30 June 2021.

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Newsletter changes

The way that you receive your Member newsletter in April and October will be soon be changing. Not to worry though, we will still be keeping in touch. To align with the statement frequency changes your Member newsletter (April and October) will be accessible via our website by visiting queenslandcountry.bank/newsletter. You will be prompted when the newsletter is available via a social media post. You’ll also receive it via email if we have your email address and you’ve given us permission to send you marketing material. For important communications regarding changes to your accounts, we may also update you through the Mailbox function within internet banking.

The January and July newsletters will remain unchanged and will continue to be
received via email or print depending on your statement preference.

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Check your Cheque Book

Members are advised to check they are using the correct cheque book. Please check that the BSB printed on your cheque book is 704-640. The BSB is the middle set of numbers printed along the bottom of each cheque.

From 1 January 2021, cheques with the BSB 034 -836 will no longer be accepted for presentation and will therefore be rejected.

Queensland Country Bank ceased issuing these cheque books in 2016 with
replacement cheque books issued on the new 704 640 BSB. Should Members still have an old cheque book, they are advised not to issue any further cheques from that book and void any remaining cheques.

If a replacement book is required, please contact your local branch or call 1800 075 078.