Australia’s CUs respond to brushfire emergency

January 9, 2020

Australia’s mutual banks, credit unions and building societies are expressing their deepest sympathies to those impacted by the devastating bushfire emergency across the country and stand ready to assist customers who are impacted.

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) is World Council of Credit Unions' direct member in Australia, representing 72 financial institutions that serve more than four million customers.

COBA CEO Michael Lawrence says Australia’s customer owned banking institutions will work with customers to help support them as they rebuild their lives and properties.

 “Australia's customer owned banking sector has a long history of supporting its customers and communities in times of need. Customer owned banking institutions offer a range of measures to assist customers that are impacted by the bushfires, many of which continue to burn. The bushfires are devastating for individuals and communities. Our thoughts are with those whose properties and lives have been impacted, as well as for the firefighters that are working to protect lives and property," said Lawrence, who also serves on World Council’s Board of Directors.

Lawrence is advising those impacted customers to contact their mutual bank, credit union or building society.

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle, who visited Australia to meet with COBA and credit unions last year, expressed his sympathies with all those affected by the fires.

“It’s been heartbreaking to witness the devastation in Australia over the past few months. America’s credit unions fully support Australia’s member-owned financial institutions in their efforts to help the country recover, and we keep all those affected in our thoughts and prayers,” Nussle said.

The Australian Mutuals Foundation has activated its emergency relief portal to collect funds to be used to help victims of the fire rebuild their lives.