CUA (company)

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Credit Union Australia (CUA)
Native name
Credit Union Australia Limited
Credit union
Member-owned financial institution
Industry Financial services
Founded 1946
Headquarters Brisbane, Australia
Key people
Rob Goudswaard CEO
Nigel Ampherlaw Chairman
Products Banking
Financial planning
Total assets 13.5 billion
Number of employees

CUA (Credit Union Australia) is a credit union in Australia. It is the largest member-owned financial institution in Australia.[1] It offers responsible financial, health and insurance solutions to around 500,000 Australians


As a mutual, CUA was created by members for members, and they care for them through the changes and challenges in their lives. CUA has 50 branches located around Australia. Since its inception, the organisation has acquired a large portfolio of assets under management, whilst also investing in a number of co-operatives. CUA is an authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) supervised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) under the Banking Act 1959 (Cth).[2] CUA is also supervised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and has been granted an Australian Financial Services Licence and an Australian Credit Licence.


CUA was officially founded in 1946. It was created through the amalgamation of several small Queensland-based credit unions in the 1940s and had around 180 members in total. Since then, through the joining of more than 171 credit unions, it has become the biggest member-owned credit union in Australia.[3]

1946–1965 The origins of CUA can be traced back to a few small credit unions in the 1940s including the Catholic Thrift and Loan Co-op in 1946, the Thrift and Loan credit Union in 1948[4] and the postal Workers Co-op Credit Society in 1949.
1966–1975 After several mergers, in 1966 the Queensland Postal Cooperative (now CUA) was founded by staff of the General Post Office in Brisbane.[5] The first loans were issued to a maximum value of $550. In 1968, the credit union’s name was changed to the Australian Postal Credit Union and Mr Jack Harvey, a Post Master, was appointed General Manager on a full-time basis.[6] In 1975 members’ accounts were fully computerised and term deposits were introduced.
1976–1992 In 1976 the credit union purchased a travel agency to provide discount travel to members. In 1977, full insurance was provided including CUA Health.[7] In 1978, it introduced 24-hour ATM access for members. It was officially renamed Credit Union Australia in 1980 and had more than 30 branches. Various amalgamations continued and between 1978 and 1992, Credit Union Australia (CUA) continued to introduce new products and services including 24-hour ATMs, financial planning, housing loans and VISA cards.
1993–2006 Credit Union Australia rapidly expanded its presence into Victoria, New South Wales, and Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia through various mergers. In 1996, fixed home loans were introduced to offer members an alternative to variable rate home loans. Following its merger with Australian National Credit Union (ANCU), Credit Union Australia became the country’s largest credit union by membership, staff numbers and assets.[8] Credit Union Australia was named Credit Union of the Year for four years in a row by the Australian Banking + Finance Awards.
2007–2010 In 2007 Credit Union Australia rebranded to CUA and merged with Victorian-based Plenty Community Credit Union in 2010 amassing more than 380,000 members - making it the biggest credit union in Australia. That same year the Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, credited CUA for bringing competition to Australian banking when it dropped its standard variable home loan by 25 basis points outside of any official rate movement.[9] CUA was named Credit union of the Year at the Australian Banking + Finance Awards in 2010.[10]
2010 onwards In 2012 CUA aimed to further differentiate itself from the Big Four by rolling out a number of new products. Alongside CUA Super and CUA Pension, it launched its CUA Rate Breaker Home Loan Package which offered a discounted one per cent lower interest rate than the average of the Big Four banks’ variable rate. In 2013 the product won Best Innovator award from Australian Lending Awards 2013 and a 5-Star rating from CANSTAR.[11] In 2012 the Youth eSaver account was launched, an online transaction account designed specifically for 10- to 17-year-olds.

In November 2013, CUA updated its whole core banking system to baNCs.[12] In 2014, CUA won Best Non-Bank and Best Non-Mutual at the Australian Lending Awards.[13]


  1. ^ Customer Owned Banking Association, "Australian Mutuals safe & competitive says Treasurer Swan", Customer Owned Banking Association, 2013
  2. ^ APRA, " List of Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions ", APRA, April 2014
  3. ^ Customer Owned Banking Association, "Submission to the Financial System Inquiry", Customer Owned Banking Association, March 2014
  4. ^ Australian Credit Union Archives, "Thrift and Loan Credit Union Limited, The - (1948-1987)" Australian Credit Union Archives, 2013
  5. ^ Australian Credit Union Archives, "Credit Union Australia Limited - (1966- )", Australian Credit Union Archives, 2013
  6. ^ World Council of Credit Unions, Inc, "CUA Celebrates Significant Milestone", World Council of Credit Unions, Inc, 2014
  7. ^, [ "CUA Health Limited (CPS)"],
  8. ^ The Age Company, Ltd., "Two largest credit unions to unite", The Age Company, Ltd., 12 October 2005
  9. ^ The Sydney Morning Herald, "Credit unions cautious when it comes to banks", The Sydney Morning Herald,3 June 2013
  10. ^ Australian Banking and Finance, "AB+F Awards 2010 winners announced", Australian Banking and Finance, 4 June 2010
  11. ^ Canstar, "Home Loan Star Ratings", Canstar,September 2013
  12. ^ Financial Review,"CUA Banks on $60m IT overhaul to shake up big four ", Financial Review, 12 November 2013
  13. ^ Australian Lending Awards, "2014 Winners", Australian Lending Awards, 2014

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