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New Chairman to support investment in member needs

14 Nov2019

People’s Choice Credit Union has announced its new Chairman as it continues its transformation program to meet the expectations of current and future members.


Michael Cameron announced as Chairman

Michael Cameron will succeed John Cossons as the new Chairman of People’s Choice from the end of the Annual General Meeting on 14 November 2019, Chief Executive Officer, Steve Laidlaw said.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Michael as Chairman after an extensive national search,” Mr Laidlaw said. “As the former Chief Executive of Suncorp, Michael accelerated that company’s digital capacity, whilst driving a customer-first culture,” he said.

“We believe Michael’s extensive experience and customer focus are a natural fit to lead People’s Choice into its next phase of growth, as we transform our technology and member experience to meet the future expectations of our members.”

Mr Cameron welcomed the opportunity to join People’s Choice during such a period of industry change.

“The mutual sector offers so many positives and opportunities for growth based on its unique ownership structure and underlying commitment to members. As one of Australia’s largest mutually owned institutions, People’s Choice has the capacity to lead that change,” he said.

“There are significant competitive challenges across the industry, but I believe People’s Choice can truly make a difference – by focusing on providing a platform with competitive products and services, delivering an outstanding member experience and investing in the long-term interests of members. It is an exciting time to be part of this successful growth story.”

Mr Laidlaw also thanked former Chairman John Cossons for his contribution to the company and the mutual sector.

“John was elected Chairman of Australian Central Credit Union in 2001 and appointed Chairman of the merged People’s Choice in 2014. He has led the Board through a period of significant change, always with member needs at the forefront,” he said.

“His role as Chairman caps a 40-year career in the mutual sector, starting with his appointment to the Board of the Northern Territory Credit Union in 1981. The Board and members thank him for his valued contribution, both to People’s Choice and to the broader mutual sector.”


Appointment of Wendy Thorpe as Non-Executive Director

People’s Choice will also appoint Wendy Thorpe to its Board, effective from the end of the Annual General Meeting, Mr Laidlaw said.

“Wendy has more than 30 years’ experience across financial and other sectors at both leadership and operational levels. Whilst Wendy’s financial sector experience at AXA, AMP Bank and ANZ will make a direct contribution, her experience in dealing with the technological challenges faced by a broad range of businesses will be invaluable as we grow,” he said.

“We are one of Australia’s largest credit unions with more than 375,000 members across Australia, but we operate in an extremely competitive environment with an increasingly complex and demanding regulatory regime. Michael and Wendy’s business transformation experience will be invaluable in the years to come.”



Get to know all of the People's Choice Board of Directors for 2019 here.



Investing in future growth

People’s Choice recorded above-market growth in 2018/19.

Welcoming 9,248 new members (net) helped drive a 6.15% lift in residential lending to deliver a portfolio of $7.137 billion at 30 June 2019, taking total member loans and advances to $7.675 billion. Member deposits increased 7.63% to $6.221 billion.

People’s Choice reported a comparative net profit before tax of $48.103 million, which was relatively in line with the prior period. People’s Choice also elected to write down $8.477 million of goodwill relating to its financial planning business, acknowledging the current climate for the sector but also restating its commitment to the value the service brings to members.

Another $6.500 million was invested to further develop the credit union’s capacity to provide seamless banking through digital and physical channels, Mr Laidlaw said.

“We are a member-owned business that focuses on investing in the future needs of our members rather than generating profits for the principle purpose of shareholder returns. Our $6.500 million investment is part of a broader $90 million strategy that will drive our growth over the next decade and more. It is a vital investment given the competition within our sector, but is even more important as it will allow us to better meet the evolving requirements of our current and future members.”

People’s Choice reported its total assets under management including funds under advice had increased to $10.715 billion, maintaining the credit union’s position as one of the country’s largest mutually-owned financial institutions.


Other highlights from the 2018/19 financial year included:

  • A 13.6% lift in Victorian lending supporting People’s Choice’s geographic diversification strategy.
  • People’s Choice was named the best customer-owned lender for first home buyers in South Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory for the third year running by Canstar; Money magazine named People’s Choice its Personal Lender of the Year for the second year in a row.
  • The Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards 2018 named People’s Choice as Australia’s best credit union for the third year in a row.
  • Financial research agency RFi Group named People’s Choice as having the country’s best Credit Risk Management Team, recognising its treatment of risk as a cultural rather than compliance issue.
  • People’s Choice’s net promoter score – a measure of members’ trust and loyalty – was +43 over the course of the year, a full 41 points above the average of Australian financial institutions surveyed.
  • The results of the 2019 Values and Engagement Survey again place People’s Choice among top Australian employers, with 88% staff engagement.
  • People’s Choice provided 4.70% of pre-tax profit to corporate community investment, six times the 0.61% average contribution made by major Australian and New Zealand companies (source: LBG Australia).



Want more information on People's Choice performance, comittment and community focus for the previous year? Take a look at the 2018/2019 Year in Review here.


"As one of Australia’s largest mutually owned institutions, People’s Choice has the capacity to lead that change”

- Steve Laidlaw, People's Chocie Chief Executive Officer



Click here to get your copy of the People's Choice 2019 Annual Report

View Annual Reports


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