Queenslanders Credit Union takes out multiple honours
THE Queenslanders Credit Union has recently taken out a swag of awards for its product range, service and the prestigious Credit Union of the year.
The awards have come either from votes by the public or from industry peers. Each is highly valued by the organisation that has strong links to Ipswich.
Having last year celebrated 50 years of operation, it is a significant win as the credit union enters into its second half-century of service to Queenslanders.
To put the awards into perspective, Queenslanders Credit Union was declared the nation's biggest winner at the Mozo People's Choice Awards for 2014.
At the awards it was named Australia's Best Credit Union for the second year in a row against all other financial institutions.
It won the awards for Best Home Loans, Best Personal Loans and Best Customer Service.
According to Mozo director Kirsty Lamont, the organisation had more than 25,000 customer reviews in this year's people's choice awards.
"Service and trust were the areas where Queenslanders Credit Union really stood out, scoring more than nine out of 10 and highlighting the strong performance that banking customers place on these attributes," she said.
Being crowned Credit Union of the Year at the Smart Investor Awards 2014 is a major win for the fiercely proud Queenslander.
Queenslanders Credit Union CEO John Weier was understandably delighted with the win and was quick to acknowledge the award was for the hard-working staff.
"We may be small, but we certainly make that our advantage," he said.
The credit union has 60 staff and has just five branches, with an emphasis on online and phone banking.
It is a far cry from the depersonalised organisations that make it difficult to talk to another human, Mr Weier says.
On the contrary, Queenslanders Credit Union staff pride themselves on their personal touch, as evidenced by some of the awards.
"Our size means we are able to deal with our customers on a much more personal level, and we really live and breathe by our promise of banking that's personal," Mr Weier said.
The credit union has a rich heritage and has roots into Ipswich city.
It started on November 12, 1963, as the Queensland Public Service Credit Union.
By the late 1990s it moved to the new name of Queenslanders Credit Union and had merged with a number of existing credit unions around Queensland.
"I have come from the banking industry and moved from the bank to the Coal Miners Credit Union back in 1980," Mr Weier said.
"It was a small financial institution and that appealed to me.
I like personalised service, I knew everyone that came into the branch.
The credit union became the Ipswich Credit Union and finally traded as Discovery Credit Union.
Locals will be familiar with the Queenslanders Credit Union branches at Booval, Brassall and Winston Glades.
There is a branch in Townsville and also at the head office in Edward St, Brisbane.
The so called "tele-tellers" were popular from the outset with members.
This is at a time when EFTPOS and ATMs had rising popularity. Phone banking and online continue to grow.
"We have always had a focus on quality service delivery, being cost effective and our very strong lending service.
Lending, particularly around our home loan products, are very popular. We are very competitive against the big four and other institutions, something we are proud of."
Mr Weier says his team members were dedicated and caring towards each customer.
"It is important to remember that credit unions started when average people could not get a loan elsewhere and I think they are the best kept secret in Australia.
"Being a credit union also means that our customers are our owners.
"This means we are not driven by pursuit of shareholder returns and can focus on providing quality products that allow our customers to reap the financial benefits."
In an era when our smartphones will become our credit cards, and a range of other technical advances are being made in the financial industry, Queenslanders Credit Union is still mindful of its customer base.
"I have one customer who still calls me every three months when her term deposit comes due and wants my advice.
That is what we are about, every one of us are here to help."
The credit union offers competitive interest rates, has a mobile lender locally who can talk over options and staff are just a telephone call away.