Welcome to our quarterly newsletter, which is published in the first week of January, April, July and October. Enjoy the read!
The consequences of rapidly increasing interest rates have been seen in the US with the failure of Silicon Valley Bank. The obvious question is what implications the current environment could have on Australian banks. We are fortunate to have a very strong regulation in place for all Australian banks.
Read more from our CEO, Aaron Newman
The Chair of the Banking Regulator, John Lonsdale, recently made the following statement in a public speech, “We are the only jurisdiction in the world that mandates banks carry capital to address the risk of rising interest rates as part of their core capital requirements. The significance of this measure in light of current events is hard to overstate”.
Queensland Country Bank has a very strong capital position and continues to perform well in light of recent economic uncertainty.
To this point, Queensland Country continues to see good demand for home loans and based on lending results achieved year to date, we are likely to see a new record lending result for this financial year. Consumers and Members alike have been active in taking advantage of Queensland Country’s very competitive loan rates, particularly as cost-of-living pressures come to bear and managing the cost of loan repayments becomes even more important. We have also been fortunate to be awarded a five-star rating for our investment loans from Canstar demonstrating our commitment to bringing our Members great value.
We have seen many new people choosing to bank with us for the first time with more than 7,000 new members joining the bank so far this financial year. Delivering competitive banking products is core to our purpose and we therefore regularly review the value of our products to ensure they are competitive and meeting the needs of our members. I’m pleased to share with you that we have introduced a boat loan to assist our members purchase new and late model boats. This will be a great product to help our members pursue a very popular pastime in Queensland.
An area of service that we take pride in is our responsiveness in our contact centre. Staff in Townsville, Brisbane, Cairns and Bowen work hard to deliver a very high standard of service over the phone with at least 80 per cent of calls answered within 75 seconds. We have recently added additional staff to our contact centre to ensure we can continue to deliver this high standard of service.
There has been plenty of focus in the media recently about branch closures in regional areas and the Government has launched a Senate committee inquiry into bank branch closures. We are proud about our commitment to regional Queensland and have 25 branches in regional Queensland areas. The Chair of the Senate Committee for Regional and Rural Affairs has requested that banks do not close any branches until the end of 2023 which is when the inquiry concludes. Queensland Country is committed to fulfilling this request. Our Members actively use our branches across the state, and we will continue to provide this level of service and accessibility as long as this service is valued by Members.
It’s now time to switch to BSB 654 000
It's now time for Queensland Country Bank Members to switch to BSB 654 000.
As part of our banking improvements project, our BSB has changed from BSB 704 640 to BSB 654 000. Last year we notified Members of this change and many of them have already commenced using BSB 654 000 with their unique account number (not their Member number or any other reference number). We thank them for their prompt action. For remaining Members who haven't made the necessary changes, we are asking that you switch now to avoid payments being rejected once our former BSB ceases to operate.
There are some key dates to be aware of:
- All Members (except SmartBudget and Business Banking Members) to switch to BSB 654 000 by 29 May 2023
- SmartBudget Members to switch to BSB 654 000 by 31 July 2023
- Business Banking Members to switch to BSB 654 000 by 31 July 2023
We acknowledge this will take effort from Members and we thank you for your patience. This round of improvements will pave the way for us to bring Members a more superior banking experience into the future, with benefits such as:
- Better ways to manage your cards in the banking app and internet banking
- More digital wallet options including Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
- Increased access to real time transfers to and from other banks
- New credit card loyalty rewards program 'My Rewards' launced in November 2022
- Numerous fee reductions introduced in November 2022
We are absolutely committed to supporting our Members through these changes and have taken a number of steps to assist, including:
- Employing additional contact centre staff
- Extending our contact centre opening hours
- Up-skilling existing team members
- Assigning dedicated specialists across our branch network
- Asking our staff to complete their own banking changes, so they understand first-hand how to best assist Members
If Members have any questions, please call our friendly team on 1800 075 078 or visit your nearest branch. Members can stay up to date with the project milestones on our Banking Improvements webpage.
Thank you for banking with Queensland Country Bank.
Group Chief Executive Officer
Celebrating 100 years of Mount Isa
On 22 February 2023, we held an event to celebrate Mount Isa turning 100 with our local Members, Board of Directors and CEO, Aaron Newman.
Aaron shared the history of Queensland Country’s presence in Mount Isa and the contributions we have made to the community over the past 52 years.
Many of our long-standing Mount Isa Members were pleased to attend the event and hear about the history of Queensland Country Bank from its beginnings as the Isa Mine Employees’ Credit Union Limited in 1971. It was a great way to showcase the Mount Isa community and its evolution over time.
Queensland Country has a home loan worth investing in
Queensland Country Bank has been awarded as one of Canstar’s Outstanding Value Investment Home Lender and Investment Variable Home Lender award winners for 2023.
Canstar’s Outstanding Value Home Loans awards recognise the lenders that provide outstanding value in terms of competitive interest rates and a range of loan features to borrowers through their suite of home loan products.
Ratings Manager at Canstar, Joshua Sale said, “Queensland Country Bank’s sharp rates for investors have consistently been amongst the most competitive in the market over the last six months.
“The low rates have been supported by a robust set of features that are designed to support their customers, and provide them with the flexibility needed to conveniently manage their loan.”
Queensland Country Bank Head of Products and Marketing, Stephanie Gillman said, “We’re very proud of our Investor products.
“We review our products regularly to ensure we’re offering our Members great value at competitive rates.”
Most recently, Queensland Country Bank has added new features to the investment home loan products to bring them in line with the products available to owner occupiers.
“One such value added is our recent decision to extend our offer of a redraw facility to investor home loans, giving Members greater flexibility with how they manage their money.
“Investors now also have the chance to add up to five offset accounts to their home loan if they choose to take out Queensland Country Bank’s Ultimate Home Loan Package, a benefit we have always extended to owner occupiers.”
“We’re offering very competitive products for residential investment and believe there will be growth in this market for Queensland County moving forward,” said Mrs Gillman.
Queensland Country Bank offers both fixed and variable home loans to investors and owner-occupiers under the Ultimate Home Loan Package.
Charters Towers boosted by two community grants
The Charters Towers community are the beneficiaries of not one, but two grants handed out by Queensland Country Bank’s Good for Good Community Grants program.
LiteHaus International received a grant of $10,000 to refurbish 100 laptops that will be distributed amongst Charters Towers students, equipping them with the devices required to learn in the modern-day classroom.
The devices will be handed over on Monday as part of the first leg of LiteHaus International’s Central Queensland rollout, where 400 more devices will be delivered to students and community members across Central Queensland including Emerald, Winton, and Longreach.
“The digital divide is by no means limited to developing countries as tens of thousands of students across Australia, particularly in rural and remote regions, do not own a personal digital device at home,” Rob Birnie, Australian Programs Lead, LiteHaus International said.
“This is an enormous constraint to students and their schools and it truly came to the fore during the height of the COVID-19 crisis which left thousands of students across Queensland stranded without a digital device as education moved onto online platforms.
“The Queensland Country Bank Good for Good grant has enabled us at LiteHaus to distribute 100 devices to students in the Charters Towers region, who otherwise would have gone without, providing necessary tools to learn and excel in today’s digital era.”
Charters Towers’ Our Town Association also received a grant of $5000 to help with the purchase of a new hospital bed and other medical supplies.
“Our Town Association help anyone in the district with medical aides such as hospital beds, wheelie walkers and shower chairs. If we don’t have what is requested, we will either source one locally or purchase a new one. We seldom refuse to help,” Jo Feirclough, Our Town Association President said.
“We primarily raise funds through markets and raffles so to receive $5000 to be able to purchase a brand-new bed and other smaller equipment straight away has been a huge boost.”
Queensland Country Bank Charters Towers Branch Manager Sue Murphy was delighted that the local community would benefit from two rounds of funding thanks to the Good for Good program.
“As a member-owned organisation, it brings us great pride to be able to support initiatives that will leave a long-lasting positive impact on the community,” Ms Murphy said.
“LiteHaus International and Our Town Association are two great organisations who are doing meaningful work in the Charters Towers region that will be felt right across the entire community. It’s extremely pleasing to be able to give back to our Members and community in this way.”
Over $130,000 in funding was awarded to Queensland community groups during the last round of Good for Good Community Grants. This is the sixth year that the program has run and follows Queensland Country Bank’s long history of supporting the community through grants with over $2.5 million injected into Queensland community projects since 2005.
Take charge of your finances
It can be tricky to keep track of all your expenses and when exactly they’re due, especially amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.
But, your personal finances don’t have to be tricky or scary to deal with. By implementing strategies and processes, things like paying your bills can be made simpler and easier to manage. One useful resource to consider is our SmartBudget tool.
SmartBudget can help ease bill shock and ensure you pay your bills on time. Plus, if budgeting isn’t your strong suit, you can align your bill payments with your pay schedule so you know exactly how much is left afterwards for you to spend or save.
There’s the option to add a range of nominated bills to be paid for you, including rent or mortgage repayments, electricity bills or council rates (to name a few). If you’re ever concerned your variable bills may be more than the amount you’ve budgeted for, you can opt to add a 10 per cent contingency to keep you covered. You may even receive this contingency back at the end of your agreement if you don’t use it.
You can take comfort in the fact that you have a 12-month agreement arranged, freeing up plenty of time to focus on enjoying life’s big moments. By utilising a range of tactics, you can take charge of your finances and keep yourself on track to achieve your financial goals.
Terms and conditions apply and are available at queenslandcountry.bank/. This information does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information you should consider the relevant TMD, whether this product is right for you and seek your own advice
Going green at home: Simple and effective renovation tips
When it comes to renovating your home, you might be aiming to make it greener and more sustainable, but wondering which options may have the best outcomes for both you and the environment. Let’s take a look at six different possibilities that may help make your home green and reap the benefits sooner rather than later.
1. Install a heat pump for your hot water system
Essentially, a heat pump relies on extracting heat from the air to help it heat up the water in a hot water system2. It doesn’t rely on an electric or gas boosting system but does require electricity to run the evaporator fan and compressor to heat up the water2.
- A heat pump uses approximately 400 watts of electricity to run, compared to 3.6 kilowatts to power an electric hot water system1.
- An element is not required to heat the water, meaning it will use less electricity and cut down costs on your power bill2.
- As heat pumps do not use as much electricity, they are more sustainable and better for the environment.
- Heat pumps can be slightly more expensive to install initially2.
- It can take longer to warm up the water system in cool climates, so you should consider how often you use hot water before investing in one2.
2. Change your insulation
Most people know that insulation is designed to stop your home from becoming too hot or cold. However, if you’re looking for a greener solution, stick to types that are derived from natural substances. For example, animal-based (such as wool), plant-based (such as cotton) or mineral-based (such as clay) insulations are all good options3.
- Naturally based insulations are more cost-effective to install and better for the environment1.
- Most natural insulations are also hypoallergenic, (great for those with allergies), lightweight and often have rot-resistant or waterproof properties3.
- Having a more efficiently insulated home can also mean you use your air conditioner or heater less, minimising the costs of your electricity bill.
- A sufficient amount of work would be involved to reinsulate your whole home, which would cause disruptions to your daily life.
- Changing all of the insulation in your house could prove to be quite expensive with upfront costs.
3. Try out a roof ventilator
As the age old saying goes, hot air rises, so clearly your roof cavity is going to be one of the hottest places in your house. By installing a roof ventilator, hot air will be pulled out of the roof while cool, fresh air will be pulled in4. There are different types, so some require a connection to electricity, while others are powered by the wind.
- You could reduce the costs of your electricity bill as a roof ventilator would help to cool down your house, lessening the need for air conditioning or fans1.
- Using a roof ventilator is a greener way of cooling your house down, decreasing your carbon footprint.
- It can help keep moist humid air from building up, reducing the chances of mould growth and rot4.
- Depending on the size of your house, you may need to install multiple roof ventilators in order to reap the most benefits, which would cost more money4.
- If you were looking to install a wind-powered roof ventilator, you would need to consider where to put it to ensure enough wind circulates through the ventilator4.
4. Consider installing skylights
Bring more natural light into your home with skylights. They are simpler to implement into your existing home than other green renovation ideas and don’t rely on any electricity to run. In particular, bathroom and kitchen renovations see the most common use of skylights, given that these rooms require lots of light1.
- Skylights are said to produce up to three times more light than artificial lights5.
- They’re incredibly sustainable.
- You could see a decrease on your next power bill as you wouldn’t need to use ceiling lights as frequently.
- Skylights can also reduce mould growth in rooms where no windows are present (given that mould tends to grow in damp, dark places)5.
- You may need to invest in a number of skylights to provide enough natural lighting, which could be a bit expensive to install.
- Outside factors, such as trees, could prohibit the use of skylights in certain areas.
5. Install a whole house fan
Another new initiative that you may not have heard about, a whole house fan sits in the roof cavity and works by pushing hot air out and pulling cool air in – much like a roof ventilator, just on a larger scale6.
- A whole house fan has the ability to cool down every room in the house all at once, decreasing the need to run multiple air conditioners or ceiling fans6.
- It doesn’t cost much to operate this fan – it is said to cost less overall than the average air conditioner6.
- Some fans can be connected to smart home systems, such as Google Home and Alexa, meaning you can switch on the fan to cool down your house when you’re on your way home from somewhere1.
- It’s better for the environment than running an air conditioner as it doesn’t require as much electricity to power and it relies on circulating natural air throughout the house6.
- It can be difficult, costly and timely to install as it needs to go in the roof cavity of your house.
- You may need to investigate whether your house allows for a fan of this size to be installed, especially if you’re living in an older home.
6. Generate power from the sun with solar
Everyone knows someone who has solar in this day and age, but it’s popular for a reason. Solar is a great way to turn your home into a green machine and it’s easy for you to cater to your home and what you can afford – it’s up to you how many panels you install and which inverter system you choose.
- You’ll see a reduction to your power bill, especially if you choose to also purchase a battery to store excess energy you don’t use (which can come in handy if you ever lose power)1.
- If you’re looking to install solar before 2031, there are government incentives that can help you cover the upfront cost of solar7.
- The quality of solar systems is much better today and they are said to last for longer periods of time (usually up to 25 years)7.
- Solar adds value to your home, as it is a popular interest of many looking to buy in today’s market7.
- You’re powering your house off the sun, which reduces your carbon footprint.
- It can be quite costly to pay the upfront costs of installing a solar system.
- In order to get the most benefit out of your system, you generally need to install a significant number of panels1.
These aren’t the only ways you can renovate your home to make it greener – there are plenty of other options out there. Whatever you choose, Queensland Country Bank has a Green Reno Loan that can help you make your home more sustainable.
Terms and conditions of Queensland Country Bank’s Green Reno Loan apply. Review the relevant TMD’s available at queenslandcountry.bank. Normal lending criteria, terms, conditions and fees apply and are available on request.
General Advice Warning: This information is intended to be general in nature and is not personal financial advice. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on any information in this article, you should consider the appropriateness of the information provided. In particular, you should seek independent financial advice.
1Sean Cochrane, Super Green Energy Solutions.
2Sustainability Victoria, 2022, Heat pump hot water systems,
3Eco Home Insulation, 2020, What is the most eco-friendly insulation material?,
4Bradford Ventilation, 2022, The ultimate guide to roof ventilation, https://www.bradfordventilation.com.au/information-centre/home-comfort-and-health/the-ultimate-guide-to-roof-ventilation
5Eco Sustainable House, 2019, The sustainable benefits of skylights,
6Ruth Buckley, 2022, How EPA whole house fans can help protect you from airborne transmission of COVID-19, Solatube, https://solatube.com.au/blog/how-epa-whole-house-fans-can-help-protect-you-from-airborne-transmission-of-covid-19/
7Michael Kamay, 2020, 10 reasons to go solar now, National Grid Support Service,
Queensland Country Bank planting its seed for growth in South East Queensland
Queensland Country Bank is pleased to announce its partnership with Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland as its exclusive Banking Partner and Presenting Partner Sponsor to Queensland Garden Expo 2023, held annually in Nambour.
Chances are if you live in Queensland and love gardening, you would have heard of Queensland’s Premier Gardening Event which has been held in early July for 38 years. The Queensland Garden Expo attracts over 38,000 visitors with 340 exhibitors over the course of three days from South East Queensland, the Sunshine Coast, and Regional Queensland. The event is widely recognised as the largest gardening event in Queensland.
“We are a member-owned bank with a distinct purpose of helping all Queenslanders live better lives through better finances, helping them to achieve their financial goals while giving back to the communities we operate in,” said Aaron Newman, Queensland Country Bank CEO.
“Queensland Country Bank is proud to be supporting the Queensland Garden Expo as it involves and connects with various community groups at the grass roots level, this added to the synergy of being a part of this event.
“Sponsorship of the Queensland Garden Expo was a natural fit for Queensland Country Bank as we expand our presence and footprint in South East Queensland.
“The South East region is an important part of our business with a lending office and branches in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane City as well as Beaudesert, Virginia, and Ipswich.
“Community support and partnerships like the Queensland Garden Expo are at the centre of our business, as it further enables us to give back to the communities we serve.
“The Queensland Garden Expo is an exciting addition to our community partnerships and based on the success of the past Expos we look forward to being a part of it,” said Mr Newman.
Marion Beazley, Event Manager of Queensland Garden Expo added, "We are absolutely delighted to welcome Queensland Country Bank as our Presenting Partner Sponsor in 2023.
“Our values of environmental awareness and protection and our connection to community strongly align with those of Queensland Country Bank and we look forward to working with their team."
So, what can visitors expect at the Queensland Garden Expo in July?
Besides Queensland Garden Expo delivering “more than you can see or do in one day”, planned visitors will be able to connect with Queensland Country Bank’s knowledgeable banking staff, have an opportunity to see its mascot Crackles in action at the Expo, and have a chance to win prizes over the course of three days.
Familiarise yourself with more information about the Queensland Garden Expo.