SYDNEY and MADISON, Wis. (9/15/14)--The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA), the industry advocate for Australia's mutual banks, credit unions and building societies, is Filene Research Institute's newest Gold Benefactor.
The Gold Benefactor designation signifies that the donor invests $50,000 annually in Filene.
The relationship will mean more collaboration on emerging trends and opportunities common to the U.S. and Australian markets, Filene said.
The new agreement "will bring the cooperatively owned financial services sector closer together, similar to our relationships with English- and French-speaking Canadian credit unions," said George Hofheimer, chief knowledge officer at Filene.
"We're struck by the similarities of challenges--such as awareness, young adult relevance and digital shifts and opportunities including in collaborative models, big data and social media--that credit unions in the United States, Canada and Australia face," said Hofheimer.
COBA Acting CEO Mark Degotardi said the new partnership will allow full access to Filene's library of industry research and collaboration on future research projects.
"The Filene team regularly visits Australia and has delivered passionate and thought-provoking insights on the future of banking services globally and the impact for local institutions," Degotardi said. "The partnership is a timely one as our sector looks for new strategies to introduce more Australians to the customer owned banking model."
Filene and COBA will also collaborate on three new research projects and one research colloquium over the next 12 months.