|Greater Building Society|
|Industry||Banking and financial services|
|Headquarters||Hamilton, New South Wales, Australia|
Number of locations
|Wayne Russell (Chairman), Scott Morgan (CEO)|
Greater Bank is an Australian, customer owned bank and mutual financial institution which is headquartered in Hamilton, New South Wales. Previously known as, "Greater Building Society", or “The Greater”, it provides services to customers in New South Wales and South East Queensland through branches, mobile lenders, a Greater Bank ATM network and access to the Westpac ATM network, a Newcastle-based customer service call centre, along with Internet and mobile banking.
What became Greater Bank began in 1924 in response to the unemployment and economic depression of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. By providing interest free home loans to their members, Greater Bank provided an opportunity for home ownership in a time where low wages and high rent made it impossible for many to obtain.
Greater Bank is licensed by Australian Securities and Investments Commission ASIC, is an Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) approved and authorised deposit-taking institution, and is a member of the Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA). In 2013, The Greater was awarded the Building Society of the Year for customer satisfaction by the Roy Morgan Research judged by more than 50,000 consumers and 22,000 business decision-makers throughout 2013.
In 1924, Mr F.W. Lean and Mr K.A. Mathieson Snr. formed the Newcastle and Hunter River Public Service Starr-Bowkett Building Cooperative Society Limited.
Starr-Bowkett societies provided interest free home loans to their members. Each member bought shares and made weekly contributions to the society. A lottery would then determine which member received the loan. When all members had drawn and repaid their loans, the society would terminate and any surplus funds were distributed among the members. Building societies were established after World War II to meet the increasing demand for home ownership.
In 1945, The Greater Newcastle Cooperative Permanent Building and Investment Society began with a single office. In 1946, the company’s assets were £11,000. As of 2014 Greater Bank’s assets top $5 billion.
In 1968, Greater Bank expanded beyond the borders of the Hunter, opening its first Central Coast branch in Gosford. Greater Bank’s first Sydney branch in Penrith opened its doors in 1972, and their first Illawarra branch at Warrawong opened in 1973.
In 1980 Greater Bank expanded north to NSW’s North Coast, establishing branches at Ballina and Coffs Harbour. In 2003, Greater Bank established its first Gold Coast branch at Robina.
Greater Bank has also completed a number of mergers over the years. In 1998 Greater Bank merged with Mitchell Building Society of Central Western NSW, and in 2011 The Greater merged with ABS Building Society of Armidale.
In 2010, Australian marketing guru John Dwyer tempted superstar Jerry Seinfeld out of retirement, to be the spokesman for Greater Bank. Jerry Seinfeld had only ever lent his name to two marketing campaigns; American Express and Microsoft.
- Wayne Russell - Chairman
- Scott Robinson - Deputy Chairman
- Roger Cracknell
- Malcolm McDonald
- Jayne Drinkwater
- Russell Ware
In 2009 comedian Jerry Seinfeld was engaged to star in the company’s advertising campaigns for three years. The comedian’s tenure as spokesperson for Greater Bank marked a rise in brand awareness both locally and nationally.
Greater Bank established The Greater Charitable Foundation in 2011. The Foundation partners with Australian-based charitable organisations throughout Greater Bank’s area of operations with a goal of improving life outcomes and supporting families and communities.
The Greater Charitable Foundation was established with an initial allocation of $1 million by Greater Bank on behalf of its members and staff. Greater Bank continues to fund The Foundation from its profits on an ongoing basis, and The Foundation is governed by an independent Board of Directors. A key platform of the Foundation’s activities is the involvement of Greater Bank staff in funded projects through volunteering and pro bono assistance.
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- "Seinfeld in ads for Newcastle building society". The Age. July 10, 2009.
- "Greater Charitable Foundation". Greater Charitable Foundation.