Companion Credit Union
Companion Credit Union and its parent company, Community CPS Australia, became a mutual bank on 1 August 2013 called Beyond Bank Australia.
Prior to this, Companion Credit Union was a credit union based in and serving the Hunter Region, Australia. It was established in 1974 by a group of Hunter Region coal miners who decided that the financial affairs of the workers in their industry were at the mercy of banks, loan sharks and extremely high interest rates.
In 1974 a group of Hunter Valley Coal miners decided that the financial affairs of the workers in their industry were at the mercy of banks, loan sharks and extremely high interest. They found like minded people and set about finding alternative financial sources.
After initial talks with the Credit Union League in Sydney, the League approved the commencement of a new Credit Union, provided they got at least 500 members. This was a large hurdle to overcome but on 6 January 1975 the Northern Mineworkers Credit Union opened its doors for the first time.
Originally the first office was a backroom at the Northern United Mineworkers Federation Headquarters in Newcastle. As the credit union grew more branches opened up to service members.
Over the years the credit union changed to keep with the competitive demands of the economy. In 1988 the credit union changed its name from the Northern Mineworkers Credit Union to Companion Credit Union and opened its doors to the general public, so that anyone could be a member of Companion Credit Union.
In 2009, credit union members voted to merge with Community CPS Australia and the merger took effect on 1 January 2010. Companion became a part of one of the largest credit unions in Australia − Community CPS Australia, and comprised activities in banking (through its credit union), the community(through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods), and employed 585 staff across 48 branches with more than 180,000 members.
Community CPS was located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operated as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Region and United Community in Western Australia.
Community CPS has a subsidiary − Eastwoods − which provides Tax, Accounting and Financial Planning Services.
As a customer owned financial institution the credit union has strong ties to the community, supporting charitable organisations and initiatives through financial donations and grants on a local, regional and national level. Community CPS promotes volunteering nationally via the "make a smile" volunteering program to support local communities through Community Volunteers.