Great Southern Bank

Great Southern Bank (formerly Credit Union Australia or CUA) is a customer-owned bank based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. As of 2013, it is the largest customer-owned financial institution in Australia.[8] It offers banking and insurance services to 420,000 Australians.[9][10]

Great Southern Bank
FormerlyCredit Union Australia (CUA) (1980–2021)[1][2]
TypeCredit union, member-owned bank
IndustryBanking, financial services
Founded1946; 76 years ago (1946)
FounderCredit unions and financial co-operatives.
Headquarters300 George Street, Brisbane, Queensland[3]
Key people
ProductsBanking, investment, health insurance, home, car, travel and life insurance, financial planning
RevenueIncreaseA$ 196.1 million (2021)[6]
DecreaseA$ 439.6 million (2021)[6]
IncreaseA$ 297.7 million (2021)[6]
Total assetsDecreaseA$ 18.784 billion (2021)[6]
Members>5,400 (2021)[6]
SubsidiariesCUA Health Limited (until 2021)[6]
RatingLong term: BBB[7]


Great Southern Bank is a mutual bank. It is Australia's largest customer-owned banking organisation[11] with over 40 branches located around Australia, largely on the east coast. The contact centres are located in Sydney and Melbourne.[12] It is also a member of the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA),[13] adhering to a Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice [14]

Great Southern Bank has two fully owned subsidiary companies – CUA Health Ltd (Health Insurance) and Credicorp Insurance ltd (consumer credit insurance). On 26 May 2021, it was announced that CUA Health Ltd would be sold to HBF.[15]


The earliest precursor to Great Southern Bank was officially founded in 1946. It was created through the amalgamation of several small Queensland-based credit unions in the 1940s and had around 180 members in total. Since then, through the joining of more than 171 credit unions[citation needed], it has become the biggest customer-owned bank in Australia.[11]


1946–1965 The origins of CUA can be traced back to a few small credit unions in the 1940s including the Catholic Thrift and Loan Co-op in 1946, the Thrift and Loan credit Union in 1948[16] and the postal Workers Co-op Credit Society in 1949.
1966–1975 After several mergers, in 1966 the Queensland Postal Cooperative (now CUA) was founded by staff of the General Post Office in Brisbane.[17] The first loans were issued to a maximum value of $550. In 1968, the credit union's name was changed to the Australian Postal Credit Union and Mr Jack Harvey, a Post Master, was appointed General Manager on a full-time basis. In 1975 members' accounts were fully computerised and term deposits were introduced.[18]
1976–1992 In 1976 the credit union purchased a travel agency to provide discount travel to members. In 1977, full insurance was provided including CUA Health.[19] In 1978, it introduced 24-hour ATM access for members. It was officially renamed Credit Union Australia in 1980 and had more than 30 branches. Various amalgamations continued and between 1978 and 1992, Credit Union Australia (CUA) continued to introduce new products and services including 24-hour ATMs, financial planning, housing loans and VISA cards.
1993–2006 Credit Union Australia rapidly expanded its presence into Victoria, New South Wales, and Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia through various mergers. In 1996, fixed home loans were introduced to offer members an alternative to variable rate home loans. Following its merger with Australian National Credit Union (ANCU), Credit Union Australia became the country's largest credit union by membership, staff numbers and assets.[20] Credit Union Australia was named Credit Union of the Year for four years in a row by the Australian Banking + Finance Awards.
2007–2010 In 2007 Credit Union Australia rebranded to CUA and merged with Victorian-based Plenty Community Credit Union in 2010 amassing more than 380,000 members - making it the biggest credit union in Australia. That same year the Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, credited CUA for bringing competition to Australian banking when it dropped its standard variable home loan by 25 basis points outside of any official rate movement.[21] CUA was named Credit union of the Year at the Australian Banking + Finance Awards in 2010.[22]
2011–2020 In 2012 CUA aimed to further differentiate itself from the Big Four by rolling out a number of new products. Alongside CUA Super and CUA Pension, it launched its CUA Rate Breaker Home Loan Package which offered a discounted one per cent lower interest rate than the average of the Big Four banks' variable rate. In 2013 the product won Best Innovator award from Australian Lending Awards 2013 and a 5-Star rating from CANSTAR.[23] In 2012 the Youth eSaver account was launched, an online transaction account designed specifically for 10- to 17-year-olds.

In November 2013, CUA updated its whole core banking system to BaNCS costing around $60 million.[24] In 2014, CUA won Best Non-Bank Lender and Best Mutual Lender at the Australian Lending Awards.[25]

2021–2022 CUA is rebranded as a bank and changed its name to Great Southern Bank on its 75th anniversary.[10] On August 9, 2021, Great Southern Bank announced that it was carbon neutral. [26] On November 16th, 2021 Great Southern Bank adopted a new constitution to elevate its commitment to mutuality and to provide a simpler constitution.[27][28][29] On February 14, 2022, Great Southern Bank launched a 10-episode podcast series called The Clever Way Home, hosted by Sophie Tieman, with the aim of demystifying the home buying process and helping first-time buyers. [30]

Recent recognition/awardsEdit

  • Forbes - Worlds Best Banks 2022[31]
  • Canstar - Customer-Owned Institution of the Year winner 2022 [32]
  • Canstar - Savings 2022 [33]


Principal partner - Brisbane Heat Cricket team [34]

Major sponser - Carlton AFL team[35]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Wood, Mike (2 June 2021). "CUA becomes Great Southern Bank". Australian Broker.
  2. ^ "Great Southern Bank is the new name of CUA". 1 June 2021.
  3. ^ "CUA signs new Brisbane headquarters at 300 George Street". 2021.
  4. ^ "Executive Management".
  5. ^ "Board Members".
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report – 2021" (PDF). 25 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Our credit rating".
  8. ^ Customer Owned Banking Association, "Australian Mutuals safe & competitive says Treasurer Swan", Customer Owned Banking Association, 2013
  9. ^ "Annual Report | 2021 | Great Southern Bank" (PDF). Great Southern Bank. Great Southern Bank. 25 August 2021. Retrieved 4 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ a b "Rebrand as 'bank' or lose Millennials, says Great Southern". Australian Financial Review. 16 November 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  11. ^ a b Customer Owned Banking Association, "Submission to the Financial System Inquiry" Archived 13 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Customer Owned Banking Association, March 2014
  12. ^ "Work with Us". Great Southern Bank. 22 May 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  13. ^ "COBA". Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  14. ^ "Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice". Great Southern Bank. 2 July 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  15. ^ "CUA signs partnership with HBF". Retrieved 31 May 2021.
  16. ^ "Thrift and Loan Credit Union Limited, The - (1948-1987)". Australian Mutuals History. Retrieved 4 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. ^ "Credit Union Australia Limited - (1966- )". Australian Mutuals History. Retrieved 4 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. ^ "CUA Celebrates Significant Milestone". World Council of Credit Unions. 7 February 2006. Archived from the original on 28 November 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2022.
  19. ^ "Details of insurer | CUA Health Pty Ltd (CPS)". Retrieved 4 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. ^ "Two largest credit unions to unite". The Age. The Age. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 4 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. ^ Yeates, Clancy (2 June 2013). "Credit unions cautious when it comes to banks". The Sydney Morning Herald. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Australian Banking and Finance, "AB+F Awards 2010 winners announced", Australian Banking and Finance, 4 June 2010
  23. ^ "Home Loan Star Ratings" (PDF). Canstar. September 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "CUA banks on $60m IT overhaul to shake up big four". Financial Review. Financial Review. 12 November 2014. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Australian Lending Awards - 2015". Australian Lending Awards. 29 February 2016. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  26. ^ "Climate Active Public Disclosure Statements". Climate Active. 29 October 2022. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  27. ^ "Great Southern Bank reaffirms customer ownership with new Constitution". Great Southern Bank. Great Southern Bank. 3 December 2021. Retrieved 5 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. ^ "2021 Notice of Annual General Meeting and Explanatory Memorandum" (PDF). Great Southern Bank. Great Southern Bank. 20 October 2021. Retrieved 5 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ "Credit Union Australia Ltd Constitution" (PDF). Great Southern Bank. Great Southern Bank. 15 November 2021. Retrieved 5 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  30. ^ "LiSTNR and Great Southern Bank partner on podcast about buying your first home". Media Week. 29 October 2022. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  31. ^ "World's Best Banks". Forbes. 27 October 2022. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  32. ^ "2022 Bank of the Year and Customer-Owned Bank of the Year Awards". Canstar. 27 October 2022. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  33. ^ "2022 Savings Award". 20 September 2022. Retrieved 27 October 2022.
  34. ^ "Brisbane Heat and Great Southern Bank Continue Winning Partnership". Brisbane Heat. Retrieved 29 October 2022.
  35. ^ "Carlton welcomes Great Southern Bank". Retrieved 29 October 2022.

External linksEdit