The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2013-08-02T03:59:24Z WA CREDIT UNION HAS BECOME A 100 PER CENT CUSTOMER OWNED BANK 2013-08-02T03:59:24Z wa-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 United Community Union in Western Australia – 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 Western Australia 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 Western Australian community, donating more than $288,000 through our grants and sponsorship programs over the last three years," Mr Keogh said. "This includes a $23,100 grant for Silverchain - to help support bereavement counselling for children affected by the loss of a parent or loved one, and a $15,000 donation for Little Athletics WA." "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." "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 More home owners making the switch to save a bundle 2012-11-30T01:50:03Z more-home-owners-making-the-switch-to-save-a-bundle-2 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 the number of refinanced loans almost double when compared to the same period last year. Its local subsidiary, United Community Credit Union saw a 20 per cent increase in the number of people bringing their home loans across from another lender.United Community State Manager Michelle Coelho 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 easier for the homeowner,” Mrs Coelho 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,” she 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.”
 Mrs Coelho 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 term.4.    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 product.Seville Grove homeowner, Vince Alvaro refinanced his $220,000 home loan with United Community last month and is now saving $300 a month with a restructured repayment plan.“I already had my car loan with United Community and decided to discuss refinancing my home loan with them because I wasn’t happy with what other institutions were offering,” he said.“United Community had a very competitive interest rate and allowed me to tailor the repayment plan to suit my needs. As a result, I am now saving hundreds of dollars on fees, which means I can pay off my loans quicker.“Aside from the financial benefits, I felt like a valued member and found the switching process very easy,” he said. 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 United Community Credit Union encourages WA charities to go green 2012-10-05T02:28:16Z united-community-credit-union-encourages-wa-charities-to-go-green ParraFirst has announced the launch of a Directors Scholarship, which will aim to help Parramatta juniors with expenses incurred playing representative football. Directors of the Parramatta District Rugby League club receive a $3000 honorarium, which all successful ParraFirst candidates will donate to the scholarship fund. ParraFirst candidate Peter Serrao has been involved with Parramatta junior representative football since 1995 and won two grand finals as head coach of Parramatta Eels Harold Matthews sides in the late nineties. Serrao said that parents of elite junior footballers often faced a significant financial burden in paying for representative trips like the Australian Schoolboys tours. Youll find behind almost any elite junior footballer, a very supportive family, who has often had to sacrifice a lot to enable their child to participate at representative level, said Serrao. We hope the Directors Scholarship will help some of those families. ParraFirst candidate Lawrence Shepherd, managing director of gaming technology business Independent Gaming Australia, has been a long-time Eel sponsor for close on 25 years. Shepherd said that the Directors Scholarship was reflective of ParraFirsts commitment to a code of ethics that would disallow directors benefiting commercially from their position at the club. Were dont believe directors or their businesses should be contesting business contracts given by the club or profiting financially from their positions, Shepherd said. Thats a core principle of ParraFirst - the clubs interests always go before that of any individual, and that has to start at the boardroom. Shepherd said ParraFirst was committed to re-connecting local businesses with Rugby League throughout the Eels region and would aim to work with the club to put in place a district-wide program that would encourage sponsorship and support all the way down to the grassroots of the game. The Parramatta Eels are more than just a Rugby League team, said Shepherd. Theyre a focal point of the local community and we believe that a District-wide plan to engage with businesses throughout the area and bring them back into the Rugby League fold as sponsors and supporters will benefit not just the club but the local community as a whole. We hope the Directors Scholarship sets an example for that kind of engagement and can help other successful business people in the area to think about how they can contribute to Rugby League in the Parramatta district. United Community Credit Union branches have raised over $30,000 for local charities via their Charity of Choice Program 2012-07-27T01:23:03Z united-community-credit-union-branches-have-raised-over-30-000-for-local-charities-via-their-charity-of-choice-program For the second year in a row, United Community Credit Union branch staff have supported local charities, sporting associations and not-for-profit organisations with fund raising efforts including raffles, sausage sizzles, morning teas, soup lunches, trivia nights and staff casual days. In January, United Community branches choose local charities to support in their communities, and as a result collectively rose over $30,000 with the help of our members and the community, providing much needed funds to support the chosen charities. Michelle Coelho, State Manager for United Community Credit Union said that the United Community Charity of Choice program allows branches to choose charities within their own community and support with fund raising. Because our staff decides which organisation is supported, they have buy-in from the beginning with the organisations close to their hearts. We are really thrilled with our results this year and that we supported the following organisations: Asbestos Diseases Society; Asthma Foundation; Charity Link; Future Living Trust; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; Kalgoorlie PCYC; Paraburdoo Primary School; Peel Riding for Disabled; Pilbara & Kimberley Care; Royal Flying Doctor Service; South Lake Child Care Centre; The Spiers Centre. Mrs Coelho, said on the 26th June we will be hosting a presentation evening at Kailis Bros in Leederville at 6.00pm until 8.30pm to recognised each organisation supported in our Charity of Choice program. At this event we will proudly hand over the $30,000 our United Community branches have collected. Stuart Flynn CEO of Pilbara Kimberley Care, said Its organisations like United Community Credit Union that make the difference as they enable Pilbara Kimberley Care to offer more to our clients, ultimately enhancing their quality of life. ‘We are very grateful for the $13,000 the Karratha branch of United Community raised at their trivia night for us. The money raised will go towards a new gazebo area, outdoor furniture and shade cloth for Roebourne Day Centre, new furniture for our Tom Price site, and new food warmers for Meals on Wheels in Karratha.’ Rhonda Adamsam CEO of The Spiers Centre, said we had a great evening at the quiz night the Joonadulup branch of United Community organised for us and will use the $2500 raised for us towards ‘The women’s program’, - a programdesigned to support woman that have been left to support themselves after a domestic breakdown. Last financial year, Community CPS donated more than $1 million dollars back into local charities in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory, Wagga Wagga, Hunter Region and Western Australia through community initiatives such as fund raising, campaigns, community grants and donations. 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 (via Eastwoods). For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au Community CPS Australia wins Credit Union of the Year Award 2012-06-12T04:46:57Z community-cps-australia-wins-credit-union-of-the-year-award-2 Community CPS Australia – operating as United Community in Western Australia - 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 How to Protect Yourself From Fraud 2012-05-08T01:47:10Z how-to-protect-yourself-from-fraud-2 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 ofthe population (662,300 Australians), compared to 2.4 per cent in 2007 (383,300 Australians). United Community State Manager Michelle Coelho, says 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 Mrs Coelho. 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 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 Wagga Wagga Mayor’s Flood Appeal created to support flood-stricken region 2012-03-19T07:09:40Z wagga-wagga-mayor-s-flood-appeal-created-to-support-flood-stricken-region-3 Leading financial institution Community CPS Australia – trading as United Community in Western Australia - and its subsidiary Wagga Mutual Credit Union have 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 Executive Manager Retail, Peter Rutter, 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 Rutter. "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 by calling us, at one of our local branches or by direct deposit.Account and BSB details are on our website."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 www.unitedcommunity.com.auABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS 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 holds firm on interest rates 2012-02-28T06:34:55Z community-cps-australia-group-holds-firm-on-interest-rates-2 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 United Community in Western Australia - 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 United Community's loan packages and interest rates are available through the website www.unitedcommunity.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 United Community reports strong interim 2012-02-27T04:07:09Z united-community-reports-strong-interim One of Australia’s most prominent credit unions, the Community CPS Australia Group – trading as United Community in Western Australia 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 10.2per 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. "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." Community CPS performed solidly in Western Australia, recording an overall business growth of 4.5 per cent compared to the same period last year, says United Community State Manager Michelle Coelho. "Our loan book in WA grew by 4.8 per cent, and deposits increased by 4.1 per cent, highlighting solid local performance and the diversity of our national business," said Ms Coelho. "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 members as our owners will continue to be our focus," said Ms Coelho. 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.unitedcommunity.com.au or www.communitycps.com.au Local not-for-profit organisations to cash in on new bank account 2012-02-15T05:03:41Z local-not-for-profit-organisations-to-cash-in-on-new-bank-account-1 Local not-for-profit organisations to cash in on new bank account Leading credit union Community CPS Australia – operating as United Community inWestern Australia - today introduced an everyday banking offer, the Community Reward Account, that supports local charities and not-for-profit organisations by donating a percentage of its average annual balance. The scheme comes at no extra cost to the account holder, who still earns acompetitive variable interest rate on their deposit. Each year, United Community will donate valuable funds to organisations supported through the Community Reward Account, which will assist them to continue contributing to the wellbeing of local communities.Members who open a Community Reward Account select the charity, community group or non-for-profit organisation they wish to support from a list of registered recipient organisations. If their favourite cause is not on the list they can encourage this organisation to speak to United Community about registering.At the end of each financial year the credit union adds up the average balance held in all Community Reward Accounts linked to each registered organisation and donates up to 1.5 per cent of that balance to the organisation.United Community state manager Michelle Coelho 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, school, community service groups and charities play in local communities in which we operate, and supporting these not-for-profit and community organisations is at the heart of who we are,” said Mrs Coelho.“The Community Reward Account is a competitive savings account offering flexible access methods that delivers benefits to our members while also supporting local communities. The higher the number of members who link their Community Reward Account to a registered organisation, the more funds can be raised for that organisation.“The concept of the Community Reward Account comes from Wagga Mutual Credit Union, which is part of the Community CPS Australia Group, and was known as the ‘Community Sponsorship Account’. The account has been very successful, raising more than $1.1 million for the Wagga community since its inception in 2002, and we are pleased to make this account available to all our members.” David Gribble, chief executive officer of the Constable Care Child Safety Foundation, said the account would deliver great benefits to the charity and many other not-for-profit organisations that register as recipients.“As a charitable organisation we rely on financial donations to do our work, and the Community Reward Account would offer an additional income stream to our organisation,” said Mr Gribble.“I strongly believe that the account’s success in Wagga Wagga can be replicated here with the support of our community. I can only encourage people to consider the Community Reward Account as an alternative to their existing transaction account – supporting charity has never been easier.” Organisations interested in being listed as recipient organisations can obtain a registration form at any United Community branch or online www.unitedcommunity.com.au. Applications will be assessed by the local management team to ensure a community benefit is delivered, and will then beapproved on that basis.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 Find the best home loan product – with key fact sheets 2012-02-15T03:51:19Z find-the-best-home-loan-product-with-key-fact-sheets-1 As of 1 January 2012, the Australian Government requires all lenders (banks, credit unions and building societies) selling standard home loans to provide consumers with a Home Loan Key Facts Sheet (HLKFS) about their standard variable and fixed rate home loans, if they ask for one.The HLKFS have to be presented in the same format and layout regardless of the lender, and are designed to enable consumers to easily compare home loans provided by different lenders.The HLKFS are prepared based on consumers’ individual requirements for their loan amount, loan term and interest type (fixed or variable) and summarises information about the loan, including:The interest rate (nominal and comparison rate i.e. including fees)Total amount to be repaid (including loan amount and fees)Amount repaid for every $1 borrowedEstablishment and ongoing feesRepayments per month and per yearThey also include information about how the consumer’s monthly repayments will change if interest rates increased by one per cent and how much sooner they would repay the loan if they increased their repayments by $200 per month.United Community State Manager, Michelle Coelho, said she was pleased to see initiatives implemented that help consumers find the best product for their personal circumstances.“Because every lender uses a different language to describe its products and features it can be quite difficult for consumers to compare them directly to one another. The new HLKFS all look the same and use the same terms to outline the relevant information”, said Mrs Coelho.“This will help people to compare apples with apples when it comes to home loan products, and they can assess the loans at face value and make an informed decision about which one best suits their needs.“Buying a home is a big decision for most Australians, and they will spend a good time of their adult life paying it off – so it is very important to pick the right product. We feel the HLKFS are a great tool, empowering consumers in their choice of product without the bells and whistles distracting from the actual basic features of the loan.“So if you’re thinking about taking out a home loan, make sure you ask for a HLKFS from several lenders to enable you to shop around for the best deal. Financial institutions are also required to make the HLKFS available on their website if they provide information about home loans or enable home loan applications online. Ours can be found on http://www.unitedcommunity.com.au/calculators/homeloankeyfactsheet.aspx,’ said Mrs Coelho.ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPCommunity CPS Australia is a two-time winner of Money Magazine’s Australian Credit Union ofthe Year Award. With more than 185,000 members, Community CPS employs 585 staff acrossbranches in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and operates as Wagga MutualCredit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the Hunter Valley and UnitedCommunity in Western Australia. Community CPS is now one of the country’s leading creditunions with assets under management approaching $4 billion. For more information visitwww.communitycps.com.au United Community increases regional banking access 2012-02-15T02:14:41Z united-community-increases-regional-banking-access Leading credit union United Community has launched its first iPhone application (app), giving customers more convenient access to banking, particularly to those living in regional or remote areas.United Community State Manager, Michelle Coelho, said mobile banking was an important addition to the credit union’s service offering, enabling members to conduct their banking ‘on the go’ without the need to visit a branch.“The app offers our members convenient around-the-clock banking access, they are able to view their balance, transfer money from their accounts, pay bills and access product information no matter where they are,” said Mrs Coelho.“Our app with mobile banking places everyday banking at our members’ fingertips, which will be particularly useful for those who live in rural or remote areas without easy access to the nearest branch.“The website received more than 600,000 hits from mobile devices last year, with 90 per cent of these from Apple devices. As a result, we expect the iPhone app to be very popular among our members”.“We will continue to evolve and develop this app, according to market trends and feedback from our members. All member feedback is welcome, especially during this initial launching phase. We are hoping to launch an Android-based application within the next few months.”The new application also features branch and ATM location details, contact details and links to the credit union’s social media channels “We’re Listening” on Facebook and Twitter as well as its blog, which provide community updates and financial tips and advice.To download the United Community iPhone application, visit http://www.unitedcommunity.com.au/smartphone/.ABOUT THE COMMUNITY CPS AUSTRALIA GROUPCommunity CPS Australia is a two-time winner of Money Magazine’s Australian CreditUnion of the Year Award. With more than 185,000 members, Community CPS employs 585staff across branches in South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and operates asWagga Mutual Credit Union in Wagga Wagga, Companion Credit Union in the HunterValley and United Community in Western Australia. Community CPS Australia is now oneof the country’s leading credit unions with assets under management approaching $4billion. For more information visit www.communitycps.com.au