The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2013-08-02T03:03:39Z WAGGA CREDIT UNION TO BECOME A 100 PER CENT CUSTOMER OWNED BANK 2013-08-02T03:03:39Z wagga-credit-union-to-become-a-100-per-cent One of the nation’s top three credit unions, Community CPS Australia – operating as Wagga Mutual in Wagga Wagga – will become a 100 per cent customer owned bank under a bold new naming strategy designed to offer consumers a real alternative in the financial services sector. From 1 August 2013, the Community CPS Australia Group and its five allied brands in SA, ACT, Wagga Wagga, WA and the Hunter Valley will operate under a single new name and continue as a values-based, 100 per cent customer-owned bank. Chief Executive Officer Robert Keogh said our customers in Wagga will have access to a values-based banking offering which combines the best of both worlds – the same level of safety and security for their savings combined with an unrivalled operating philosophy that puts customers and their communities first. The change is driven by extensive analysis of the Community CPS ‘member-centric’ business, changing consumer habits and the opportunity provided by the Federal Government’s 2010 banking reforms for the mutual sector to create a ‘fifth pillar’ and increase competition in the banking sector. Those reforms enable any credit union or building societies that meet a minimum capital requirement to apply for mutual bank status. "We have seized a strategic opportunity that enables us to continue to drive our agenda and respond to the age of the consumer who is more informed than ever and clearly in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding their banking provider," Mr Keogh said. "Becoming a mutual bank from 1 August retains the best of both worlds – all the benefits of mutuality that our members know in terms of high levels of service, competitive products and a commitment to reinvesting our profits to benefit customers and the community, under the auspices of a bank. "It shows Australians there is another way to bank, a way that puts people before profits, and believes in prosperity for all. Our model is based on providing better banking solutions, meaningful community initiatives and personalised professional business services." Under the new brand the organisation will formalise its community support by setting up a Community Development division to expand an established program of community investment activities that strengthen the fabric of communities in which the Bank operates. "We have a strong track record of investing in the Wagga Wagga community, including a $30,000 grant to Wagga’s Riding for the Disabled – used to fund a wheelchair access vehicle, and a $50,000 donation to the Wagga Flood Appeal - helping local residents at a time of need." "We have distributed more than $8 million to charities, not-for-profit organisations and community groups around Australia, since 2007. Our plan for the future is to increase our annual contributions by more than 150 per cent as a demonstration of our commitment to strengthening the communities in which we operate," Mr Keogh said. "I am very pleased to say this true commitment to the community will become even stronger under our new brand, with an increased commitment to the community as we seek to develop more partnerships at a national, regional and grassroots level," he said. The move to mutual bank status will also allow the new organisation to attract additional funds from other businesses to support future growth by attracting more customers and widening its service offering.  For more information visit www.beyondbank.com.au   WAGGA CREDIT UNION HAS BECOME A 100 PER CENT CUSTOMER OWNED BANK 2013-08-02T03:01:22Z wagga-credit-union-has-become-a-100-per-cent-customer-owned-bank One of the nation’s top three credit unions, Community CPS Australia – operating as Wagga Mutual in Wagga Wagga – has become a 100 per cent customer owned bank under a bold new naming strategy designed to offer consumers a real alternative in the financial services sector. From 1 August 2013, the Community CPS Australia Group and its five allied brands will trade as Beyond Bank Australia, a values-based, 100 per cent customer-owned bank operating in SA, WA, ACT, Wagga Wagga and the Hunter Valley. Chief Executive Officer Robert Keogh said our customers in Wagga could now access a banking offering which combined the best of both worlds – the same level of safety and security for their savings combined with an unrivalled operating philosophy that puts customers and their communities first. The change was driven by extensive analysis of the Community CPS ‘member-centric’ business, changing consumer habits, and the opportunity provided by the Federal Government’s 2010 banking reforms for the mutual sector to create a ‘fifth pillar’ and increase competition in the banking sector. Those reforms enable any credit union or building societies that meet a minimum capital requirement to apply for mutual bank status. "We have seized a strategic opportunity that enables us to continue to drive our agenda and respond to the age of the consumer who is more informed than ever and clearly in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding their banking provider," Mr Keogh said. "Becoming a mutual bank retains the best of both worlds – all the benefits of mutuality that our members know in terms of high levels of service, competitive products and a commitment to reinvesting our profits to benefit customers and the community, under the auspices of a bank." "It shows Australians there is another way to bank, a way that puts people before profits and believes in prosperity for all. Our model is based on providing better banking solutions, meaningful community initiatives and personalised professional business services." Beyond Bank Australia has also formalised its community support by setting up a Community Development Division to expand an established program of investment activities that strengthen the fabric of communities in which Beyond Bank Australia operates. "We have a strong track record of investing in the Wagga Wagga community, including a $30,000 grant to Wagga’s Riding for the Disabled – used to fund a wheelchair access vehicle, and a $50,000 donation to the Wagga Flood Appeal - helping local residents at a time of need." "We have distributed more than $8 million to charities, not-for-profit organisations and community groups around Australia, since 2007. Our plan for the future is to increase our annual contributions by more than 150 per cent as a demonstration of our commitment to strengthening the communities in which we operate," Mr Keogh said. "As Beyond Bank Australia I am very pleased to say this true commitment to the community will become even stronger as we seek to develop more partnerships at a national, regional and local level." The move to mutual bank status also allows Beyond Bank Australia to attract additional funds from other organisations to support future growth by attracting more customers and widening the bank’s service offering.  For more information visit www.beyondbank.com.au  Long-awaited vehicle drives Riding for the Disabled expansion 2013-05-15T06:01:17Z long-awaited-vehicle-drives-riding-for-the-disabled-expansion For an organisation that usually specialise in hooves, saddles and reins, the arrival of a new set of wheels today at Wagga’s Riding for the Disabled (RDA) paves the way for an expansion of the much-loved group’s services. Wagga Mutual Credit Union has presented the RDA with an eight-seater wheelchair friendly vehicle that will allow the group to transport children who otherwise could not access horse-riding and carriage driving lessons at the RDA’s arenas on Plumpton Road. The vehicle has been purchased and converted to become wheelchair-accessible following a $30,000 grant from the Wagga Mutual Regional Fund and an additional $35,000 in financial support from RDA donors and the Wagga community. RDA president Bev Amery has been eagerly awaiting the vehicle’s arrival and was today presented with the keys by Peter Rutter, General Manager Community of Wagga Mutual’s parent company Community CPS Australia. Already Mrs Amery has plans to keep the vehicle busy travelling across the region picking up children and bringing them to the Plumpton Road arena. "Now that we have the vehicle we’ll be able to pick up children from local schools which have not had their own means of transport and bring them here for lessons starting from next week," she said. "We’ll also be using the vehicle to transport our riding coaches to training sessions and RDA state conferences. "This is truly a highlight for us and marks a turning point in our long history. We started almost 40 years ago with six clients and now have more than 100 clients visiting us each week. The smiles we receive from our clients and the strength we see them gaining from their lessons is incredibly rewarding and we know they, and their families sincerely appreciate every trip to the RDA." Mr Rutter said the RDA was the second annual recipient of the Wagga Mutual Regional Fund Grant, which provided much needed support to a key community group in the region. "Bev and her team of volunteer trainers have been providing riding lessons since 1975 and are making a real difference to children and young people with disabilities," Mr Rutter said. "Today marks a special day in the history of RDA and it is with absolute pleasure that Wagga Mutual can present the car to Bev and her hardworking team of volunteers to help them extend their already popular services." About THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUP Three-time winner of Money magazine’s Credit Union of the Year award (2012, 2008) and Best Credit Union (2005) and winner of the Mozo People’s Choice Award for Best Credit Union (2012), the Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia. With assets under management approaching $4 billion, the Credit Union employs 598 staff across 46 branches to service more than 186,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community Credit Union in Western Australia. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au   Local not-for-profits reap rewards from charitable bank accounts 2013-01-10T02:42:34Z local-not-for-profits-reap-rewards-from-charitable-bank-accounts-1 Local community groups and not-for-profits have received more than $151,000 in donations this year thanks to members of Wagga Mutual using an everyday savings account, which allows them to combine their banking needs with supporting a good cause. The Community Reward Account, which has been running for the past 10 years by local credit union Wagga Mutual, donates a percentage of the account-holders’ average annual balance to a nominated local charity, community group or not-for-profit organisation. The account’s success in Wagga has prompted the Community CPS Australia Group – of which Wagga Mutual is a subsidiary – to introduce it across the country. Local recipient organisations include: Kooringal Wagga Athletics Club Inc Glenfield Rural Fire Brigade RSPCA – Wagga Wagga Wagga Asthma Swimming Club Wagga Wagga Breast Cancer Group Inc Willans Hill School P & C AssociationWagga Mutual members opening a Community Reward Account can select the charity, community group or not-for-profit organisation they wish to support from a list of registered recipients. At the end of each financial year, Wagga Mutual calculates the average annual balance held in Community Reward Accounts linked to each registered organisation and donates up to 1.5 per cent of the balance to the organisation. The support committee of disability school Willans Hill School, P & C Association, registered to be a recipient organisation for the Community Reward Account 10 years ago and has since received more than $62,000 towards school support initiatives. “The financial support we receive by being a recipient of Wagga Mutual’s Community Reward Account, has meant we have been able to fund everyday support services for the children and roll out planned initiatives to keep the school up to date and relevant for the needs of today’s children,” P & C President Stephen Reynolds said. “Among many things, the funds help to run two wheelchair equipped buses, which are used daily to take children to swimming lessons, work experience and community events. The support we receive will make it possible to fund a new playground with educational and playing equipment developed especially for children with a disability,” Mr Reynolds said. Wagga Mutual regional manager, Andrew Toole said the account was yet another way of giving back to the community, providing a direct link between the members’ investment in the credit union and the organisation’s investment in the community. “We recognise the positive role not-for-profit organisations such as local sporting clubs, schools, community service groups and charities play in the local communities in which we operate, and supporting these organisations is at the heart of who we are,” said Mr Toole. Wagga residents interested in contributing to the wellbeing of their local community can open a Community Reward Account, which comes with flexible access options, no monthly account keeping fees and a competitive rate of interest. Organisations interested in being listed as recipient organisations can obtain a registration form at any Wagga Mutual branch or go to www.waggamutual.com.au for more information. Applications will be assessed by the local management team to ensure a community benefit is delivered by the registering organisation.   About THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUP Two-time winner of Money magazine’s Credit Union of the Year award (2012, 2008) and winner of the Mozo People’s Choice Award for Best Credit Union (2012) the Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 598 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 184,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community Credit Union in Western Australia. Community CPS was also named Money magazine’s Best Credit Union in 2005. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au Walk the Lake to raise funds for Riding for the Disabled 2012-12-13T03:51:35Z walk-the-lake-to-raise-funds-for-riding-for-the-disabled Leading financial institution Wagga Mutual Credit Union – a subsidiary of the Community CPS Australia Group - and Riding for the Disabled (RDA) have again joined forces and created a community event - ‘Walk the Lake for RDA’- to raise money to purchase a new vehicle for Riding for the Disabled.In September Wagga Mutual’s charitable arm, the Wagga Wagga Regional Fund, announced a $30,000 grant for RDA to purchase a much-needed $60,000 people-mover vehicle so the group could open its doors to at least 50 more clients with special needs.RDA President Bev Amery said the idea for the walk was a result of brainstorming with Star FM and Wagga Council.“Since September there have been many fundraising events in the community to raise the additional $30,000 dollars needed, but we are still $15,000 dollars short. So we came up with a concept that would bring the community together, a 5km walk around our beautiful Lake Albert,” said Ms Amery.“Our goal is to get at least 1000 people to attend the walk, with all money raised on the night from the entry fee, food sales, raffle tickets, pony rides, jumping castle and donations going straight to our fundraising efforts for the new vehicle.” The ‘Walk the Lake for RDA’ event will be held on Wednesday 19th December at Apex Park, people can register from 6pm with the walk commencing soon after. Cost to ’Walk the Lake for RDA’ will be $5 per person.“Once again Wagga Mutual has been a great supporter of the event, helping us out with promotional activities, event management, volunteers on the ground and catering in form the of one of their famous sausage sizzles, for a gold coin donation, with water and soft drinks available to purchase,” said Ms Amery.Wagga Mutual Regional Manager Andrew Toole says Wagga Mutual was committed to helping Riding for the Disabled raise the additional funds to purchase this much-needed vehicle for their clients.“We hope the entire community comes out for this event. We are encouraging team entries as well as individuals, and anyone who dresses up festively is in the running to win a prize. A leisurely walk around the lake this close to Christmas will be a magical event -  who knows, we might even see Santa on the night.“For further information on the ‘Wagga Mutual Walk the Lake for RDA’ event, please contact Wagga Mutual Credit Union’s Community Membership Co-ordinator Karen Garrod on 6923 4057.ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPTwo-time winner of Money magazine’s Credit Union of the Year award (2012, 2008) and winner of the Mozo People’s Choice Award for Best Credit Union (2012) the Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 598 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 184,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community Credit Union in Western Australia. Community CPS was also named Money magazine’s Best Credit Union in 2005.The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au More home owners making the switch to save a bundle 2012-11-30T00:54:57Z more-home-owners-making-the-switch-to-save-a-bundle-3 Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the number of Australians switching their home loans to other financial institutions has increased by 16 per cent in the past financial year, meaning more home owners are looking for a better deal to save money on their mortgage.  For the month of September, leading financial institution Community CPS Australia, saw a year-on-year increase of 94.4 per cent of people bringing their home loans across from another lender. Its local subsidiary, Wagga Mutual saw home loan switching numbers locally that were inline with the group’s result during the first quarter of the financial year (July-September 2012).Wagga Mutual Regional Manager Andrew Toole predicts the trend towards switching will continue, particularly following the Federal Government’s new legislation on switching financial institutions from 1 July 2012.“The new legislation gives homeowners the ability to change financial institutions without having to go back and forth with their current provider. The new provider now arranges the switch, making it really simple to make the move,” Mr Toole said.“We will see more and more people looking for alternative products as home loan packages become more competitive, which actually works in the consumers’ favour,” he said.“People can save thousands by switching providers, for example, if they can find a home loan product that reduces their interest rate from 6.69 per cent to 6.49 per cent they could save up to $450 a year – based on a standard mortgage of $300,000. This would be a saving of more than $11,000 over the course of a 25 year loan.”Mr Toole recommends the following to those who are considering a switch:1.    Assess – is your current home loan still the best solution for you? Has your lifestyle changed since you first took out the loan and what loan features are most important? 2.    Research – see what other financial institutions – including credit unions and building societies – are offering and which package meets your needs 3.    Understand your existing terms – find out whether you will have to pay any exit fees and if so, will this be worth it in the long term4.    Speak to the professionals – after doing your own research, it’s a good idea to talk to your existing and potential provider to get the best possible productABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPTwo-time winner of Money magazine’s Credit Union of the Year award (2012, 2008) and winner of the Mozo People’s Choice Award for Best Credit Union (2012) the Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 598 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 184,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community Credit Union in Western Australia. Community CPS was also named Money magazine’s Best Credit Union in 2005.The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au      Wagga Mutual Credit Union provides grant to drive expansion of Riding for the Disabled 2012-09-11T06:12:50Z wagga-mutual-credit-union-provides-grant-to-drive-expansion-of-riding-for-the-disabled Leading financial institution Wagga Mutual Credit Union is providing $30,000 and kick starting a fundraising drive so Riding for the Disabled (RDA) can buy a much-needed $60,000 people-mover vehicle so the group can open its doors to at least 50 more clients with special needs.Through its charitable arm titled the Wagga Wagga Regional Fund, Wagga Mutual will provide a $30,000 grant to the RDA for the vehicle, and will lead a fundraising campaign to source the additional $30,000 needed.The Wagga Wagga Regional Fund is the local arm of the Community CPS Foundation, operated by Wagga Mutual’s parent organisation, the Community CPS Australia Group.The grant and fundraising were announced at a special event held on Thursday night at the Botanic Gardens Restaurant, where Wagga Mutual also distributed more than $151,000 to 130 local charitable organisations via the credit union’s popular Community Reward Account.RDA President Bev Amery says an 8-12-seater ‘people-mover’ will enable RDA staff to pick up more clients directly from around the community and transport them to the RDA for horse-riding and carriage driving programs each week.“Thanks to the generous support of Wagga Mutual Credit Union and the Wagga Wagga Regional Fund, we will be able to put a smile on the faces of more people with special needs,” Ms Amery said. “The joy and satisfaction of working with children, teenagers and adults with disabilities as they learn to ride and carriage drive is tremendously rewarding, and we know they, and their families sincerely appreciate every trip to RDA.”Riding for the Disabled began in Wagga in 1975 with six clients, and now has 125 clients visiting its indoor and outdoor arenas and games and cross country paddocks at Plumpton Road each week. Community CPS Australia Chief Executive Officer Robert Keogh says Riding for the Disabled was a most worthy recipient of the Fund’s second annual grant.“The many volunteers and specially trained riding instructors are committed to enriching the lives of their clients with disabilities and we are delighted the Wagga Wagga Regional Fund has identified the RDA as a cause close to the community’s heart,” Mr Keogh said.The RDA grant and fundraising campaign were announced during a presentation of more than $151,000 to recipients of Wagga Mutual’s Community Rewards Account. The account was launched in Wagga 10 years ago and has since distributed more than $1.4 million to the community.Wagga Mutual Regional Manager Andrew Toole says the Community Reward Account is a high-interest earning account with a percentage of the balance donated by the credit union to the account-holder’s preferred non-profit group.“At the end of each financial year, we add up the average balance held in all Community Reward Accounts and donate 1.5 per cent of the balance to the nominated organisation,” Mr Toole said.“It’s been incredibly successful in Wagga, with more than 130 local charities, community groups and not-for-profit organisations reaping the rewards of their supporters placing their savings in a Community Rewards Account.”  The recipients of the 2012 Community Award are:•    Riverina Umpires Association•    United Hospital Auxiliaries of NSW Coolamon Ganmain Branch•    Riverina Conservatorium of Music•    Matong Public School P&C Association•    Country HopeFor further information about how to apply for a Community Reward Account and support your preferred charitable organisation, please contact Wagga Mutual Credit Union’s Community Membership Co-ordinator Karen Garrod on 6923 4057.ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPTwo-time winner of Money magazine’s Credit Union of the Year award (2012, 2008) the Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community Credit Union in Western Australia. Community CPS was also named Money magazine’s Best Credit Union in 2005.The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au Community CPS Australia wins Credit Union of the Year Award 2012-06-12T03:56:56Z community-cps-australia-wins-credit-union-of-the-year-award-3 Community CPS Australia – operating as Wagga Mutual in Wagga Wagga - is celebrating after it was yesterday named Credit Union of the Year 2012 as part of Money magazine’s Consumer Finance Awards. The title recognises the credit union’s outstanding member services, competitive products and strong performance in challenging market conditions. The annual awards compared more than 200 financial institutions and 16,000 products, Community CPS chief executive officer Robert Keogh said everyone in the organisation was excited about the win, because it was a great achievement and showed the credit union delivered on all levels, including member services, financial products and staff engagement. “To be awarded Credit Union of the Year we achieved the highest aggregate score of all the credit unions considered in a number of categories, including Money Minder of the Year, Home Lender of the Year, Personal Lender of the Year, Credit Card Issuer of the Year, Business Bank of the Year and Customer Satisfaction. Our consistency across the board in all these areas helped us secure this award,” said Mr Keogh. “This win is a group effort, we couldn’t have achieved it without our dedicated staff, the ongoing support of our members and our strong ties to the local community. “Our members are our owners, and we work closely with them to make sure they have the best personal finance solutions at their fingertips. Unlike the banks, we exist for the benefit of our members and return value by reinvesting our profits to provide better services and competitive interest rates. “We are proud to accept this award because it recognises Community CPS as a profitable, competitive financial institution that not only offer outstanding products to its members but also provides grassroots community support,” he said.Community CPS was named Money magazine’s Credit Union of the Year for the second time, having also won the title in 2008. The organisation was also recognised as Best Credit Union 2005. ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUP The Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in Western Australia. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au Community spirit helps Wagga rebuild 2012-05-31T01:22:45Z community-spirit-helps-wagga-rebuild Just over two months ago local credit union Wagga Mutual teamed up with Mayor Kerry Pascoe to create the Wagga Mayor’s Flood Appeal, assisting those affected by the devastating floods in early March.Wagga Mutual’s parent company, Community CPS Australia, kickstarted the appeal with a $50,000 donation, and now the fundraising goal of $200,000 has been reached, even exceeded, thanks to the community’s generous support.Andrew Toole, Regional Manager at Wagga Mutual, said he was overwhelmed by the local community’s commitment to helping each other.“We have received donations from our members, staff, residents, local businesses, and countless fundraising activities were organised with all proceeds donated to the appeal. We’ve seen bake sales, quiz nights and concerts, to name a few, and everyone who could got behind it,” said Mr Toole.“We have now raised more than $227,000, the majority of which has already been distributed by the St Vincent de Paul Society to those who were hardest hit.”Virginia Anderson of North Wagga, said the community’s support had made a big difference to the life of her family, assisting them to replace the basics and slowly start the rebuilding process.“We only had a few hours to save our possessions from the 1.8m wall of water, and lost everything in the flood, including the back of our house. Thanks to the generous donations and the help of the St Vincent de Paul Society we bought essential food and cookware items, replaced our bedding and towels, and could buy some new toys and clothes for our five-year-old son,” said Ms Anderson.“We were also able to buy some tools so we can slowly start repairing the damage and rebuild the back of the house. We still have a long way to go, and every act of support is greatly appreciated. “I would like to thank the local community for their generous and heartfelt support. We are very grateful to everyone, with your contributions you have helped change the lives of many and give them hope for the future. I would also like to thank Wagga Mutual for coordinating all those wonderful fundraising activities to help us rebuild our lives,” she said.Mr Toole joined Ms Anderson in thanking the people of Wagga Wagga for showing such compassion to their community.“In the wake of this disaster our community came together as one to lend a helping hand to those affected, whether they were relatives, mates or complete strangers. It makes me proud to be a member of such a strong community,” he said.ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPThe Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in Western Australia. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au Community CPS Australia Group cuts interest rate 2012-05-16T05:52:37Z community-cps-australia-group-cuts-interest-rate-3 One of the country’s largest and most influential credit unions, Community CPS Australia - trading as Wagga Mutal Credit Union in Wagga Wagga - today announced it will reduce its standard variable interest rate to 6.84 per cent, effective from Tuesday, 15 May. Community CPS Chief Executive Officer, Robert Keogh, said the reduction meant that the credit union’s standard variable home loan rate continues to be a minimum of 0.15 per cent lower than the best on offer from the big four banks. “As a mutually owned organisation we exist for the benefit of our members and reducing our rate is just part of providing them with the best possible products and a quality relationship,” Mr Keogh said. “Following the 30 basis point rate cut our members will save around $58 per month on a mortgage of $300,000, a significant saving for Australian families. “At the same time we haven’t reduced our savings account rates and a reduction of 0.10 to 0.25 per cent reduction on term deposit rates ensures we also remain very competitive for deposits.” All details on Community CPS’ loan packages and interest rates are available through the website www.waggamutual.com.au ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPThe Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in Western Australia. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (including the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au How to Protect Yourself From Fraud 2012-05-08T00:54:38Z how-to-protect-yourself-from-fraud-3 New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Fraud Survey 2010-11 show that personal fraud is on the rise, with credit card fraud reporting the highest increase. An estimated 1.2 million Australians aged 15 years and over have been a victim of personal fraud in 2010/2011 an increase of five per cent compared to figures from 2007 – causing an overall financial loss of $1.4 billion. Credit card fraud is the most common form of personal fraud, affecting 3.7 per cent of the population (662,300 Australians), compared to 2.4 per cent in 2007 (383,300 Australians). Wagga Mutual Regional Manager Andrew Toolesays that while some credit card fraud schemes are very complex, caution and close attention to how you use your credit card can help to reduce the risk of fraud. “There are a few simple ways to ensure that your card details are safe and don’t fall into the wrong hands,” said Mr Toole. 1. Never let your card out of your sight during any transaction. That means if you’re at a shop, watch the sales assistant, and if you’re at a restaurant, go to the counter and pay the bill – this is particularly important if you are overseas where you could be identified as a tourist and a ‘soft target’. 2. If you’re buying goods online, make sure the site is reputable and well-established. Be wary of unfamiliar sites that are identified through searches – giving them your credit card details is the same as sharing your card number with a stranger on the street. 3. Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer as viruses can be used to obtain personal information. 4. Put a padlock on your home letterbox so that your credit card statement, which contains your card number and full name, or any other sensitive personal mail, cannot be stolen. 5. Never, ever, write your PIN down anywhere or share it with anyone. 6. Use internet banking to regularly check that only your transactions are going through your credit card. About THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPThe Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in Western Australia. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods).For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au Wagga Wagga Mayor’s Flood Appeal created to support flood-stricken region 2012-03-14T00:20:40Z wagga-wagga-mayor-s-flood-appeal-created-to-support-flood-stricken-region Leading financial institution Wagga Mutual Credit Union, part of the Community CPS Australia Group, has launched the Wagga Wagga Mayor’s Flood Appeal via its charitable foundation to raise much-needed funds for residents of Wagga Wagga and Coolamon, devastated by the recent floods. The Community CPS Australia Foundation has kick-started the appeal with a donation of $50,000, and the credit union is now urging its staff, members and the general public to support the initiative. All funds raised will be dispersed locally to the Wagga and Coolamon community through the St Vincent De Paul Society. Community CPS Chief Executive Officer Robert Keogh said the appeal will provide financial support to residents in this time of need. “Now that the immediate danger for locals is over, the painful process of cleaning up and rebuilding what’s been lost begins. The Wagga Wagga Mayor’s Flood Appeal will provide support to affected residents during the rebuilding process” said Mr Keogh. “Our thoughts are with the residents, their friends and families and everyone who is affected by this natural disaster. We encourage anyone who wants to help to donate to the Wagga Wagga Mayor’s Flood Appeal via our website, by calling us, or at one of our local branches. “We also want to make sure that members of Wagga Mutual know that we are here to help if they have been affected by the floods, and we’re encouraging them to come and talk to us if they are concerned about their financial situation due to losses suffered in the deluge. Cr Kerry Pascoe, Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga, said the community was very appreciative of the credit union’s support. “Our local community is very strong and we will recover from the recent disaster together. We have been touched by the compassion reaching us from all over the country, and we would like to thank Community CPS and Wagga Mutual for their generosity in launching the Wagga Wagga Mayor’s Flood Appeal,” said Cr Pascoe. “The funds raised through the appeal will assist the St Vincent de Paul Society in providing much needed goods and emotional support to those among us who have suffered losses and need to rebuild their lives. Please get in touch with Wagga Mutual if you wish to support the appeal – every little bit helps.” For more information please visit waggamutual.com.au About THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUP The Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in Western Australia. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au Community CPS Australia Group holds firm on interest rates 2012-02-28T05:40:11Z community-cps-australia-group-holds-firm-on-interest-rates-3 Following last week’s announcements by the big banks to increase their interest rates against the Reserve Bank of Australia’s direction, leading credit union Community CPS Australia – operating as Wagga Mutual in Wagga Wagga - today announced they have no immediate plan to change their standard variable home loan rate. Community CPS Chief Executive Officer, Robert Keogh, said the decision reflects the credit union’s commitment to delivering value to its members, and also highlighted the different business models of banks and mutually owned organisations. "As a customer owned financial institution we are committed to creating and returning the best value to our members – absorbing the interest rate pressures in this instance is a demonstration of that commitment," said Mr Keogh. "Our standard variable home loan rate was lower than the major banks’ prior to their rate changes and we will continue to adopt a position where we can demonstrate a return of value to our borrowing members, while at the same time ensuring that the business remains sustainable in the long term." "We achieve this by generating an appropriate level of profits and reinvesting this back into the business. That way all members benefit, not just the borrowers." All details on Wagga Mutual's loan packages and interest rates are available through the website www.waggamutual.com.au About THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPThe Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in Western Australia. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au Community CPS Australia reports stong interim results 2012-02-27T03:48:28Z community-cps-australia-reports-stong-interim-results Community CPS Australia reports strong interim results One of Australia’s most prominent credit unions, the Community CPS Australia Group – trading in Wagga Wagga as Wagga Mutual Credit Union has posted strong results for the first half of the 2011/12 financial year despite a tough consumer financial market. The group reported a net profit after tax of $14.32 million, an increase of 17.8 per cent on the corresponding interim result last year, as well as a deposit growth of 5.3 per cent and a 10.2 per cent increase in total assets. Community CPS chief executive officer Robert Keogh said the strong performance was a testament to the diversity of the credit union’s business as well as a disciplined approach to cost and income levels and commitment to its strategy. "Community CPS has delivered solid results for the first six months of the financial year, and the fact that we have recorded a strong increase in our net profit after tax says a lot about our business model in what has been a very tough market for financial institutions," said Mr Keogh. "We saw a decrease of 6.5 per cent in overall new lending, caused by stalling consumer demand for lending products due to the volatile financial climate. There is a strong focus among consumers on either repaying existing debts or saving money for the coming months, which is reflected in our deposit growth." "We’re particularly pleased about our increased net profit after tax, as this allows us to reinvest the funds into the credit union, offering our members better interest rates, lower fees and improved services. "We expect that the remaining six months of the financial year will see a contraction of interest margins in line with increased competition and an expected increase in funding costs. The direction of interest rates on the back of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s actions will also have an impact. If interest rates continue to fall, it will provide a welcome relief to mortgage holders in times of rising living costs. "Increased competition in the sector is expected and this should be good news for consumers. Our goal of creating and returning value to our customer owners will continue to be our focus," said Mr Keogh. ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUP The Community CPS Australia Group is one of the largest customer owned financial institutions in Australia, with assets under management approaching $4 billion. The credit union employs 585 staff across 48 branches, servicing more than 180,000 members. Community CPS is located in South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in Western Australia. The Group comprises activities in banking, the community (through the Community CPS Foundation) and professional services (wealth management, tax and accounting services via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.waggamutual.com.au or www.communitycps.com.au Managing the Christmas credit card hangover 2012-02-15T05:43:00Z managing-the-christmas-credit-card-hangover-2 It’s that moment in the New Year that so many Australians dread – the credit card statement that clearly spells out how much you’ve spent at Christmas.Local credit union Wagga Mutual says many consumers get caught up in the Christmas spirit and arrive in the New Year with credit card balances they simply can’t pay off.Wagga Mutual Regional Manager Andrew Toole says individuals who wake up to the holiday debt hangover should focus on avoiding high interest charges, which are often much higher on credit cards, by clearing the debt as quickly as possible.“If you can, clear the balance completely when due, but if you don’t have savings or the cashflow to do this, then investigate alternatives such as refinancing the debt at a lower interest rate,” he said.“Some might have the capacity to redraw on their home loan, where the interest rate is much lower than a credit card, or consider taking out a personal loan.”However, Mr Toole says for this strategy to succeed it is vital for consumers to increase loan repayments so the credit card portion of the owed amount is cleared as quickly as possible.“Make a mini budget that allows you to repay the holiday debt over a few months, otherwise you wind up stretching a $2000 debt over a 20-year home loan, which will cost more in interest and extend the life of the debt,” he said “While you’re clearing the balance, be careful about how you use your credit card and only spend what you can afford to repay at the end of the month,” he said.“If you’re facing back-to-school expenses, then take advantage of any interest-free period on your credit card, provided you can pay the outstanding amount at the end of that period. If you don’t think you can do this, consider cheaper sources of credit, such as the home loan, but like the Christmas debt, you need to increase your repayments.”Mr Toole says while clearing the 2011 debt, consumers should also focus on preparing for the 2012 festive season.“If you have landed in January with a nasty credit card debt, the important thing is to avoid the same thing happening next year,” he said.“So if you know that you usually spend $1500 at Christmas, then set up a Christmas savings account where you make a weekly deposit and are discouraged from withdrawing funds early.“By preparing a plan and sticking to it and spreading the cost over the year you can avoid the pain of a large lump sum cost at Christmas.”ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPCommunity CPS Australia is a two-time winner of Money Magazine’s Australian Credit Union of theYear Award. With more than 185,000 members, Community CPS employs 585 staff across branchesin South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and operates as Wagga Mutual Credit Union inWagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and United Community in WesternAustralia. Community CPS Australia is now one of the country’s leading credit unions with assetsunder management approaching $4 billion. For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au