annual report

About us

Who we are

Who we are Summerland Credit Union is 100% customer owned, which means each of our customers owns one share.

Customer owned or mutual means thatwe exist to benefit our customers. Profits don’t go to external shareholders and as a customer we promise to treat you like you own the place, because as a customer of Summerland you do!

We are governed by a Board of Australian Directors and our day-to-day operations are led by our Chief Executive Officer and Executive Team along with 97 staff who areall based in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales and the Southern Gold Coast region.

We represent more than 25,000 customers,and we’re custodians of $933 million in assets as at 30 June 2021.


What we do

We accept deposits from savers and lend money to borrowers to help our customers fulfil their life dreams.

We lend borrowers money to buy homes,cars, investment properties or a range of other purposes.

We have $724 million in our loan portfolio and $828 million in deposits as at 30 June 2021.


How we do it

We provide good quality products and services that are competitively priced.

We genuinely care about the financial wellbeing of our customers and provide anexceptional customer experience that is delivered through our outstanding employee experience.

We support the community, environmentand economic sustainability of the regions in which we operate.

We have no direct investments in, or any loans to fossil fuel or coal seam gas (CSG) mining industries.

We are the first financial institution to become a Gold Partner of the NSW Sustainability Advantage Program which demonstrates our continued outstanding environmental achievements and leadership.

We have achieved White Ribbon Accreditation, by having zero tolerance of any form of harassment, bullying, abuse,discrimination or domestic and family violence. Respectful relationships provide a strong foundation for our workplace culture;expressing the way we do business with ourcustomers. It’s one of the reasons we were recently awarded Kincentric Employer of the Year.

Proudly sponsoring Mullum2Bruns Paddle May 2021

Chair & CEO report

Welcome to the 2021 Annual Report. On behalf of the Board, our Executive team and our people, thank you for being part of our story.


Strong growth

Our financial growth and performance for 2021 has been strong despite the COVID-19
pandemic, the short sharp recession and higher levels of unemployment.

Our net profit after tax was a record breaking $4.9 million and our total assets grew to $933 million.

We’ve retained a strong liquidity of 19.3% which has enabled us to provide some of the lowest home loan rates in our history for customers to enjoy.

Record growth and a new generation of customers this year emphasises the value and service Summerland provides. This was reflected in strong deposit growth of $65 million and loan growth of $73 million throughout the year.


Supporting customers through COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a challenge for many Australians, Summerland has provided many customers with loan repayment deferrals and access to our hardship assistance program. As the situation evolves, we will continue to be here to support our customers according to their individual circumstances.


Happy customers

Many financial institutions use a system called the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure customer satisfaction and to gauge their willingness to recommend a brand to family and friends.
We are thrilled to report that our NPS averaged 66 for the year – up from 55 in 2020. This is an excellent result, particularly when you consider that, according to Roy Morgan research, the big four banks averaged 15.4 in April 2021. We believe that a significant contributor to this success is our customer value proposition which underpins everything we do.

We are proud to employ local people in our Contact Centre which is based at our head office in Lismore. The team provide excellent service for our customers and had a significant increase in enquiries, particularly during the pandemic.


Changes to the Board

There have been quite a few changes to the Summerland Board during 2020 with the retirement of Graham Olrich and Julie Osborne in November, who were replaced by Jane Calder and Colin Sales. Jane has extensive experience in marketing, products and digital services in the financial services industry. Colin has extensive experience in banking, superannuation, government, education and disability services. Paul Spotswood and Nicolas Harrison will also retire later this year. They will be replaced by Sally Gibson and Andrew Yost, who joined the Board in August 2021.

Sally is a legal consultant with extensive corporate and regulatory expertise in investment management and regulatory issues. Andrew is a lawyer, a chartered governance professional and a chartered company secretary and has extensive experience in banking and finance.


Changes to the constitution

In June, a Special General Meeting was held to propose amendments to Summerland’s constitution. The changes recommended by the Board ensure that customers are informed of any merger offer and have an opportunity to be involved in decisions that affect the future of the credit union. These changes were approved by the membership on Wednesday 23 June.


Our team

We would like to thank our team for their amazing support of our customers. As an essential service this brings additional responsibilities, particularly during times of hardship. We are proud of how they have risen to these challenges with compassion and commitment.

We’ve also worked hard to protect and support our team and are proud to have been awarded the Kincentric Best Employers Award again this year, which is a huge nod to achieving extraordinary results.


Our net profit after tax was a record breaking $4.9 million and our total assets grew to $933 million.


As a founding partner of the regional tourism and development group, Northern Rivers Together, we are working to revitalise the Northern Rivers NSW brand.

Industry and Market Challenges

Cyber security

With scammers continually finding new ways to defraud Australians, remote access scams and fraud are becoming more common.

The Summerland team works diligently to mitigate the risk of fraud, identify suspicious transactions, notify customers and offer support to those who have been affected.
Cybersecurity awareness training for our staff has continued; increasing our team’s ability to recognise, act on and follow up on concerns about potential fraud and scam activity.

We’ve shared fraud and scam articles, alerts and the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) updates to our website, social media channels, and customer e-newsletters.

We’ve also improved our fraud monitoring so we can inform customers more quickly of suspicious activities on their accounts.



Summerland customers are embracing digital banking in ever-increasing numbers. This change has also seen an increase in the frequency of their transactions. With the COVID-19 pandemic driving more people online, we can expect the trend towards digital banking to accelerate.
While we recognise the growing importance of the digital space, we also understand that our customers appreciate the value of our branch networks and enjoy the ‘face-to-face’ banking experience.

To support our customers, we are continually reviewing and improving processes to add value and efficiency to these services.  

Opening day of the new branch at The Pines, Elanora

Innovations and Enhancements

Digital wallet

Late last year we launched ‘digital wallet’ transactions for Apple Pay and Google PayTM. Digital wallet transactions are card-less transactions using a mobile device in store.

Digital wallets are fast becoming the most popular way to pay, particularly in the current pandemic environment. The rise in popularity is improving the way businesses receive payments, as businesses benefit from the greater speed, convenience and security that digital wallet payments offer.


Mobile app updates

This year has seen updates and enhancements to the Summerland app. Transaction histories can now be exported from the app in csv format and imported directly into desktop accounting software and office platforms. Three, six or 12-month periods can be exported and account, overdraft and credit card details can be displayed and updated.


Upgrade to Casino branch

The renovation of the Casino branch has been warmly received by customers. The Summerland team worked with community members to create a mural depicting the local surrounds and a weaving by local Indigenous weaver, Theresa Bolt, who is part of a small community collective known as Casino Wake Up Time. We are really proud of this great representation of the Casino community.


Coolangatta branch relocation

We’re excited to announce that our Coolangatta branch has moved to The Pines Shopping Centre at Elanora. The last day at the Coolangatta branch was 12 August. The new, modern branch is just a few minutes up the motorway but offers better facilities, more parking, access to over 80 specialty stores and is close to public transport. The new look branch has been very well received and is generating a lot of local interest.


The Pines branch is fresh and contemporary, with blackbutt plantation timber throughout, open plan design and welcoming spaces for customer meetings.

Bangalow Koalas tree planting at Binna Burra June 2021


We are on track to reach $1 billon in assets by 2022/2023.


Tree planting

We are continuing to build on our Gold Partner Accreditation from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Sustainability Advantage Program. We’re thrilled to have partnered with Landcare groups and Bangalow Koalas, working alongside local school groups and volunteers to plant 1475 native trees in the Northern Rivers.


Regional brand

As a founding partner of the regional tourism and development group, Northern Rivers Together we are working to revitalise the Northern Rivers NSW brand and share the amazing work that happens in this region with the rest of the country and the world. We want to play our part in bringing prosperity to the region creating stronger communities and nurturing successful businesses.


Vulnerable Customer Program

Summerland has developed a Vulnerable Customer Program to advocate and provide support to vulnerable customers in our community. This includes customers who don’t understand finance, who have a cognitive or intellectual disability or physical limitations, customers who may be isolated, customers with language limitations or cultural barriers, our First Nations Peoples, LGBTIQAP+ communities and people who are reliant on others for care. It is also available to customers who are impacted by family and domestic violence.

Casino Wake Up Time with Theresa Bolt’s weaving, weaving photography by Imbi Davidson

Closing Statement

Moving in to the 2022 financial year our priorities are:

• Continue to support our customers and staff through the pandemic.
• Maintain our strong financial growth.
• Provide assistance to grow and support the communities in which we operate.
• Act responsively to the threat of climate change.
• Continue to grow our business responsibly and sustainably.
• Focus on improving our products and services in our branches and online.
• Further invest in developing our digital customer service channels including internet banking, email and social media.

In conclusion, we’d like to acknowledge the challenges that many Australians are experiencing during these uncertain times. We’re confident that the strong foundations we have in place will help us to build a positive future.

We’d like to thank all of our Summerland customers for their support. We will continue to bring our customers competitive rates and fees and invest in quality service improvements in the year ahead. Summerland will continue to support our community by creating positive social and environmental change.

Thank you for your support.


Katrina Luckie John Williams
Chair CEO


Summerland creative weaving workshop, Mullum2Bruns Paddle May 2021

Our Performance



Our growth and financial performance for 2021 has been strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic and record low interest rates.

Our net profit after tax was a record breaking $4.9 million and our total assets grew to $933 million.

Our total liquidity position has remained strong reaching over 19% which has enabled us to provide some of the lowest home loan rates in our history for customers to enjoy.

A record number of new customers joined us this year resulting in strong deposit growth of $65 million and loan growth of $73 million.

For more information on our financial performance, please refer to the 2021 Financial Report.


Both my wife and I have been members for over 30 years. The services we have had with Summerland has always been 100%.

– Campbell

Total Deposits (m)


Total Assets (m)


Total Loans (m)


Net Profit After Tax (m)


Major partner of the Sustainability Expo at the Lismore Lantern Parade June 2021


Great organisation, great people and great service.

– Graeme



Our communities are an integral part of who we are as a customer owned financial institution – that’s why we are committed to supporting them.

Summerland has a strong and comprehensive environmental, social and governance position. This is embedded into our strategic direction, management and everyday activities to maximise, protect and enhance our environment and communities in ways that are ethical, transparent and with great purpose.

Our approach is driven through a desire to do the right thing and to ensure we have a framework that is relevant, comprehensive and supports our overall direction through ongoing research, planning and reporting.

We are a Gold Partner of the NSW Sustainability Advantage Program which acknowledges our outstanding environmental achievements and leadership. We are very proud that we are the first financial institution to achieve this.

We align our goals to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) which drive our position through; Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, climate Action and Sustainable Cities and Communities.


Our Achievements

Gender Equality

• Selected the ‘best person for the job’ irrespective of gender.
• Achieved White Ribbon Workplace Accreditation to work towards preventing family and domestic violence.
• Developed a vulnerable persons program.
• Assessed sponsorship opportunities considering gender equality.
• Participated in events and activities that raised awareness about inequality in the community.
• Supported events which highlight and promote women in business.
• Assessed loan applications irrespective of the applicant’s gender.
• Worked towards a gender balance on the Board and in senior management positions.

Decent Work and Economic Growth

• Encouraged staff to take one day volunteer leave to support their choice of community group or not-for-profit-organisation.
• Provided continual learning and development opportunities for staff which included 34% of our Banking Advisors completing a five-month level one lending program and 78% of all Banking Advisors becoming level one lending competent.
• Implemented a staff engagement survey to identify opportunities for improvement in the culture of the business.
• Delivered a wellness program to provide support for staff particularly during the pandemic.
• Provided flexible work practices includingworking from home and job sharing.


Sustainable Cities and Communities

• Provided employment to over 100 local people.
• Participated and supported the Northern Rivers Together program, as a founding partner.
• Provided sponsorships, grants, donations and scholarships to support community.
• Improved our environmental impact and reduced our carbon footprint.
• Delivered financial literacy and cyber security programs to community and business.
• Implemented a priority partner program for employer groups.
• Contributed to the community by participating on community boards.


Climate Action

• Implemented the bin trim program to reduce our waste.
• Planted 1475 native trees by partnering with Landcare groups and Bangalow Koalas.
• Participated in World Environment Day showing support to the protection of the environment.
• Utilised sustainable building materials in our branch renovation and relocation.
• Reduced our carbon footprint through energy, paper, air travel and car fuel.


All my family and friends bank with Summerland. They were recommended to me years ago and I have recommended them to many since.

– Lewis


Summerland Executive Team

Our Team

We are 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, that people matter most.


Engaging our people

Our people are our greatest asset and a high performing workforce is essential to achieving our strategic goals and exceeding the needs and expectations of our customers and stakeholders.

We proudly achieved an 83% engagement score in the recent staff survey. This is a 9% increase on the 2020 survey and a 21% increase on the 2019 result. The participation rate was excellent with 93% of staff responding to the survey.


Flexible working arrangements

We offer flexible working arrangements to support our staff and understand the mutual benefits of these arrangements. Digital technologies provide greater opportunities for working from home and enable staff to stay connected and able to fulfil roles effectively.


The very best service. The staff are always polite and efficient, whether over the counter or on the telephone. 10 out of 10!!

– Glen


I have had nothing but high commitment with Summerland for years and they always take time out to help.

– Debora

Remuneration and benefits

We undertook a rigorous salary review process in 2020 against external benchmarking which revealed that all salaries are above award rates.


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.




Staff members




Staff engagement




Female to male ratio


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.


We'd love to hear from you, our friendly staff are ready to take your call.

contact us
we are here to help
find us
at your local branch
keep up to date