Greater Bank Chairman, Wayne Russell, announced another strong performance for the Hunter-based community bank that has allowed for continued investment in customers and the communities it serves.
The announcement was made at Greater Bank’s Annual General Meeting held in Newcastle.
Wayne said that despite a backdrop of challenging macroeconomic and competitive conditions, Greater Bank posted strong top line results for FY17, which is reflective of the strength, management and operational efficiency of the business.
“Our group profit result of $28.6 million after tax was in line with expectations and reflects our ongoing investment in the business, with an emphasis on delivering capabilities to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” Wayne said.
“This investment is aimed at providing outstanding customer service, and competitively priced quality products that are delivered through robust and efficient business systems, as well as knowledgeable and committed people.
“As a customer-owned bank, the needs of our customers are at the heart of every decision we make and we continue to invest back into the business to ensure these needs are not only met but exceeded.
“Significant to this has been the investment in structural capability and processes across key distribution channels. We want to ensure our customers have access to their channel of choice when and where they need to reach a solution as quickly as possible.”
This ongoing commitment to customers was recognised in February 2017 when Greater Bank was named 2016 Roy Morgan Bank of the Year for Customer Satisfaction. Continued success in the category this year has Greater Bank well placed to again take out the title.
Greater Bank’s capital adequacy ratio, a measure of continued strength and security, of 17.2% for FY17 remains well above regulatory requirements and higher than that of most other authorised deposit-taking Institutions in Australia.
Lending growth continued to improve over the past 12 months with net loan approvals topping $1.2 billion, up on last year’s result of $1.02 billion. Deposit growth was also strong, up to 9.4% for FY17, which continues to provide a strong base from which to lend.
“These results provide the clearest indication of our financial strength and security; two outstanding qualities that define any financial organisation,” Wayne said.
Greater Bank’s commitment to the communities it serves is delivered through investment in community sponsorships and funding by Greater Charitable Foundation.
“Serving our community is an important pillar of our business. In FY17, the Greater Charitable Foundation committed close to $1million in funding to support partners from across our area of operation to develop a range of programs that focus on improving their beneficiaries’ life outcomes. This takes the foundation’s allocation of funding to more than $6million since its establishment in 2011,” Wayne said.
“This commitment is on top of the financial support we provided in FY17 to our nine major sponsorships and a further 31 local area partnerships across our area of operation that aimed to enrich the lives and communities that we serve.”
Looking ahead, Wayne said that Greater Bank’s established strategic plan will continue to drive significant change and growth for the business in the coming financial year.
“We will continue to develop technology improvements that better deliver on the future needs and expectations of our customers,” Wayne said.
“Customer growth will also be a continuing focus as a means for driving new business through our key target markets. Essential to this is ensuring that our customers remain at the heart of every business decision.”
Greater Bank is Newcastle and the Hunter’s only locally headquartered bank and one of Australia’s largest customer owned financial institutions. It serves over 250,000 customers in Sydney, regional NSW and the Gold Coast.
IMAGE | Chairman of Greater Bank, Wayne Russell.