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2020
annual report

GOLD PARTNER

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Sustainability Advantage Program

ACCREDITED WORKPLACE

White Ribbon

BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL
SERVICES AWARD

Business Excellence Awards
Tweed Shire

TWEED SUSTAINABILITY
AWARD

Tweed Shire Council

CANSTAR 5 STAR AWARD

Rewards Credit Card
($24k, $36k and $60k spends)

CANSTAR 5 STAR AWARD

Personal Loans

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who we are

At Summerland Credit Union, we’re here to make a difference. Providing you with ethical banking options, advice you can trust, and supporting our communities is who we are. Whether that means you want help saving for a car or buying a first home – we’ll be there to support your dreams in life.At Summerland Credit Union, we’re here to make a difference. Providing you with ethical banking options, advice you can trust, and supporting our communities is who we are. Whether that means you want help saving for a car or buying a first home – we’ll be there to support your dreams in life.

We’re not like a major bank; our profits don’t go to external shareholders. When you become a customer, we promise to treat you like you own the place, because as a customer of Summerland, you do. 

Being the first financial institution to become a Gold Partner in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Sustainability Advantage Program gives us the opportunity to become a role model and a voice for good in the financial industry.

Through feedback you give us, we’ll continue to develop products and services that make an enduring difference to your financial success.

 
Sarah got to know us, our situation and what we were looking to achieve; which is totally different from other banks we’ve dealt with.

Chris Summerland Customer

Grafton Branch Upgrade

The contemporary design looks modern and has several sustainable features which reflect our organisational values. We hope our Grafton customers enjoy the welcome upgrade.

chair and ceo report

Welcome! And if you’re a long-time customer, welcome back.

 

As a sustainable and ethical lender, Summerland Credit Union is proud to announce strong financial results again, during what has been a disruptive year for the sector. Over the last financial year, we’ve shown we can be a real challenger to the major banks by offering award winning products and services.As a sustainable and ethical lender, Summerland Credit Union is proud to announce strong financial results again, during what has been a disruptive year for the sector. Over the last financial year, we’ve shown we can be a real challenger to the major banks by offering award winning products and services.


Strong growth

We’ve seen a growth in loans of $49m - which is a rise of 8.1% in our loan portfolio. Our assets have increased from $748m to $848m during the same period, and of equal importance, our deposits have risen from $654m to $763m.


You may notice that our profitability results look a little different compared to last year. This is primarily because of the unexpected costs associated with COVID-19. Despite the unforeseen challenges this year, we’ve retained a strong liquidity of 20%. Our liquidity and strong capital position of 15.3% has allowed Summerland to offer some of the lowest home loan rates in our history for customers to enjoy. 


The 2019-20 year has been one of change. The Executive team has been revitalised with some fresh faces and they have implemented a range of positive strategies, which has led to excellent results including strong staff engagement. 


The progressive outlook of the Executive team is generating new and exciting ways to best serve our customers. 


Changes to the Board

Later this year, Graham Olrich will step down from the Board. With extensive experience in the customer owned banking industry, Graham’s knowledge and business acumen over the last 10 years has been invaluable for Summerland’s success. 


We are delighted to welcome two new Directors; Colin Sales and Jane Calder. The appointments of Colin and Jane provide a fresh perspective and a wealth of skills and expertise, working in regional Australia across a range of industries – including the customer owned banking sector. The appointment of Jane offers the opportunity for greater female representation on the Board and aligns with our values and objectives. We are confident that re-energising the Board’s skills and knowledge will help create an exciting future for Summerland and our customers.


Making a difference

We have been incredibly proud of our staff during COVID-19. We rapidly activated our continuity plan; ensuring a safe and secure environment for staff and our customers. Our front line and back-office workforce adapted seamlessly to the new environment of physical distancing and increased health and safety measures – with most of our back-office staff working remotely from home.


To support our customers, we’ve kept our branches open throughout the pandemic. This has included helping customers with loan repayment deferrals and access to our hardship assistance program. We’ve also been here for small and medium sized businesses that have been impacted, with unsecured business support loans of up to $100,000 to help with their cash flow needs. 


At the end of 2019 and early into 2020 we experienced the devastating impacts of the bushfires across the Northern Rivers and around Australia. Our Credit Team assessed which of our customers could be affected and how we could help them through our Bushfire Relief Package. 

 

Industry and market challenges

We continue to see changes from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) following the 2018-19 Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. A key focus from APRA is on organisational culture, and we believe this is one of our major strengths. We’re proud that we are transparent and offer open lines of communication across all levels of the organisation, which includes a positive accountability approach taken by all staff. 


With the fallout from the Banking Royal Commission, we’ve continued to see an increase in customers joining Summerland, who feel their values align closely with ours. Summerland’s ethical approach and commitment to protecting the interests of our customers, is what sets us apart.We would like to thank the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) for continuing to champion the industry. We’ve been active with COBA, particularly with their political engagement campaign in Canberra last year, to promote the strength of the customer owned banking industry to Parliament. Director, Nicolas Harrison, remains a voice for Summerland on the Board of COBA and we appreciate him keeping Summerland connected to developments within the sector.


Innovation and enhancements

We value the tireless energy of our staff on significant projects, through all the changes this year. The completion of the internal securitisation project, which is a liquidity support mechanism that allows us to turn a portion of our assets into cash quickly, is an example of this strong work ethic.

This last year has seen enhancements through our online offerings and within our branch network. One we’d like to touch on is our new look Grafton Branch. The contemporary design looks modern and has several sustainable features which reflect our organisational values. We hope our Grafton customers enjoy the welcome upgrade.


In the online sphere, our banking app updates every four months. This has included one of our most significant updates with the introduction of Spend Tracker, Travel Companion and Round Ups. The latter is an excellent feature for savers, who can collect their spare change from purchases in a digital style piggy bank. If you haven’t already, we highly recommend you download our banking app.


To stay at the forefront of digital payments, we have introduced PayID, giving customers an almost instantaneous payment experience in real-time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – all without the need of a BSB or account number. In the coming months, we’ll be adopting Apple and Google Pay, to further enhance the digital services available for our customers. Despite the impact of COVID-19, it has, in its own way offered opportunities for our staff to connect with new customers online.  As an example, online memberships doubled during the months of March, April, May and June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. 


We are continuing to build on our Gold Partner Accreditation from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Sustainability Advantage Program, for our environmental achievements and leadership. This is prominent in our refreshed mission: providing people with ethical banking solutions to fulfil their life dreams. In addition, we have refined our core values with a contemporary feel, that we hope will resonate with our customers. The new values illustrate a forward-thinking financial institution, with an ethical and sustainable conscience. Our refresh has included the reintroduction of “credit union” in our logo, to reflect our commitment to mutual banking and our ethical values.


Our Personal Loans and Rewards Credit Card were once again recognised for outstanding value by Canstar, Australia’s Premier Financial Comparison site. That makes it five years in a row our Rewards Credit Card has received this award, since it was launched in 2015, and the fourth time our Personal Loans have received this accolade. This is an excellent achievement, given the competitiveness in the market, and complements our advantages as an organisation that reinvests its profits into high quality products and services.


This year, we introduced the Net Promoter Score (NPS) measure to find out how likely customers are to refer us to family and friends. This is a common measure across many industries, but particularly in the financial industry. The average monthly NPS score for this year was 55; which is an outstanding result. It’s a fine example of the quality of service provided by our staff, given that the average NPS score of the major banks in March 2020 was 1.2, according to Roy Morgan. It’s why so many new customers have joined us over the past 12 months.


Closing statement

Even with the disruption of COVID-19 this year, the Board and Executive team are incredibly proud of how our staff have adapted to the sudden changes. It has been an unprecedented period not only for us, but the rest of the world. We have no doubt that the impact of COVID-19 will ripple across the financial sector in the coming year. 

Signing off, we’d like to reiterate to our customers that Summerland will continue to be here for you and your community. It’s been an uncertain time for a lot of people, but we’re confident about the strong foundations we have in place for an exciting future ahead.


Thank you for your support.

 

Katrina Luckie John Williams
Chair CEO

 

 
In the past, I knew of Summerland, but I didn’t know that all the decisions were made locally within the Northern Rivers, which obviously speeds up the process. Compared to the big banks, where I would have had to wait up to 14 working days for a decision, there’s no comparison.

Ruth Summerland Customer

our people

100

STAFF MEMBERS

74%

STAFF ENGAGEMENT

74:26

FEMALE TO MALE RATIO

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Summerland Credit Union is honoured to be recognised by Kincentric as one of Australia’s Best Employers. As an employer of choice, we work hard and have fun along the way. Given the impact of COVID-19 this year, the Summerland Board and Executive Team are incredibly proud of the resilience of our staff. We are an ethical organisation that will continue to support our staff in every step of their careers with opportunities for growth and development. This is a reflection of one of our core values – people matter most.

 
Summerland’s grant will help us during these very difficult times, which has been made even worse for so many during COVID-19.

Therese Mitchell Founding Director, Agape Outreach

our performance

TOTAL DEPOSITS (m)
$599
2018
$654
2019
$763
2020
GROSS LOANS BALANCE (m)
$564
2018
$604
2019
$653
2020
TOTAL ASSETS (m)
$689
2018
$748
2019
$848
2020
GROSS PROFIT (m)
$3.1
2018
$3.2
2019
$2.1
2020
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Our profitability results look a little different compared to last year. This is primarily because of the unexpected costs associated with COVID-19. Despite the unforeseen challenges this year, we’ve retained a strong liquidity of 20%. Our liquidity and strong capital position of 15.3% has allowed Summerland to offer some of the lowest home loan rates in our history for customers to enjoy.

sustainability report

This year’s report builds on our success as the first financial institution to become a Gold Partner in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Sustainability Advantage Program.

 

It’s also the second year of our adoption of four of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – Climate Action; Gender Equality; Decent Work and Economic Growth; and Sustainable Cities and Communities. Known also as global goals, they are regarded as the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future.  It’s also the second year of our adoption of four of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – Climate Action; Gender Equality; Decent Work and Economic Growth; and Sustainable Cities and Communities. Known also as global goals, they are regarded as the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future.  


Climate Action

We love the environment we live in. There have been several initiatives to support environmental not-for-profit groups and reduce our impact:

  • We worked with environmental groups through the donation of funds to promote the regeneration of our natural environment (Clarence Landcare), rescuing native birds and animals (Australian Seabird Rescue), and working to prevent the potential extinction of koalas (Bangalow Koalas). • Using recycled and environmentally friendly materials where we could in our Evans Head and Grafton branch upgrades.
  • Reducing our carbon footprint during the pandemic with 41% of our staff working from home. This resulted in a reduction of 43% in vehicle fuel and a 74% drop in air travel per employee, compared to the 2018-19 financial year.
  • Proactively connected with customers who were impacted by the 2019 bushfires.
  • This year Tweed Shire Council acknowledged our commitment to the environment by presenting Summerland with the inaugural Tweed Sustainability Award.


Gender Equality 

Summerland is a White Ribbon (WR) accredited workplace. The recent revitalisation of WR through Communicare, has provided us and our WR Committee the opportunity to build on our current processes of helping people at risk, including our elders, people with disabilities and those impacted by financial and domestic abuse. 


Examples of where we’ve met our target for workplace gender equity are:

  • The Board has a male to female split of 4:3, with a female Chair.
  • Our Executive team is evenly balanced, with a 50:50 gender split.
  • The Leadership Team including Branch Managers are 58% female.


Decent Work and Economic Growth

During the course of the last year, we have seen a substantial rise in staff engagement. In June 2019, our employee engagement survey result was a respectable 62%. By June 2020, this had risen to 74%, which included a survey participation rate of 93% from staff. This result reflects the support and opportunities for people at Summerland:

  • We have provided continual learning and development opportunities for staff. This includes 34% of our Banking Advisors completing a five-month level one lending program, within the last financial year. 78% of all our Banking Advisors are now level one lending competent.
  • Our staff volunteering program saw staff support a variety of not-for-profit organisations. As part of this, Summerland provides staff one day a year to support our communities through volunteering.  


Sustainable Cities and Communities

Building and strengthening our local communities is an integral part of our business. As a customer owned financial institution, we support our geographic footprint each year. 


Through our Business and Community Grants we’ve given funds back to several businesses and causes across the region.


People across the Northern Rivers have been severely impacted by the bushfires and more recently COVID-19. We have put several packages and schemes in place to support our customers and communities in need.


During the bushfires, our Credit Team worked tirelessly to identify which of our customers had been affected, and consequently released a Bushfire Relief Package, with  financial support options to help support them. In our branches, we saw the generosity of Summerland customers and staff as we raised over $10,000 for the Salvation Army’s Bushfire Disaster Appeal. 


With COVID-19 impacting all aspects of our lives, a response page on our website was developed with information and hardship assistance for both personal and business customers. As part of this, we were approved by the Commonwealth Government to be a participating lender in its Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, to support small and medium businesses that had been impacted by COVID-19. This provided small and medium businesses with unsecured business loans of up to $100,000 to support current and upcoming cash flow needs, which included working capital, liquidity and operating expenditure.

    Community Grant Recipients

  • Agape Outreach
  • Bangalow Koalas
  • Care-Ring Children's Centre
  • Coolangatta Croquet Club
  • Dorroughby Glenview Community Centre
  • Dirawong Reserve
  • Eltham Public School P and C
  • Lismore Friendship Festival
  • Lismore Toy Library
  • RED Inc
  • Riding for the Disabled
  • South Gundurimba Hall
  • Wollongbar Alstonville Rugby Club

    Business Grant Recipients

  • Bee Folk
  • Container of Dreams
  • For Sage
  • Fozies Fishing Adventures
  • R and R Nursery
  • The Green Bank
  • Upcycled Slippers
SHEETS OF PAPER PER
STAFF MEMBER*

* certified carbon neutral under the National Carbon
Offset Standard Carbon Neutral program

6915
2018
4868
2019
4944
2020
kWh

Accredited renewable energy take-up in electricity contracts is currently 10% pa for head office and 25% pa for branches.

4903
2018
4550
2019
3868
2020
LITRES OF FUEL
PER STAFF MEMBER
120
2018
94
2019
54
2020
AIR TRAVEL KMs
PER STAFF MEMBER*
1028
2018
1319
2019
354
2020
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Less toys being bought means less landfill and hopefully the fostering of an ethos that embraces less consumption and more sharing of resources.

Flora Zigterman Committee Member, Lismore Toy Library