Police Credit Union (PCU) was formed on 4 November 1964 by a group of serving Police Officers in a police station located at Clarence Street, Sydney. Initially membership was only available to Officers in the 'No. 1 Division' which included Clarence St, Central and Pyrmont police stations.
Consequently the Credit Union was officially registered as 'Police Credit Union No.1 Limited' with the following individuals elected:
Directors: MT Bell (Chair), W Halford, PD Lasker, PW MCDonagh,
EJ Thomas, RL Brown, R Shaw, K Skene, CW Hunter
Treasurer: R Lewis
Secretary: DR Moon
The motivation for forming the Credit Union was to enable Police to cooperatively help each other to make it easier to access financial products.
PCU's First Products
Police Credit Union initially operated as a very basic savings and loans provider. The very first loan was for 100 pounds to assist a Member with home renovations. Today, a home renovation loan can be a six figure amount!
After the first year of operation, Police Credit Union had 145 Members. Loans had been funded to 26 Members ranging in amounts from 10 pounds to 400 pounds. 126 of the 145 Members had invested a collective amount of 4,400 pounds.
In the late 60's the Credit Union was able to expand its services when permission was granted by the then Police Commissioner Norm Allan to offer membership beyond the "No. 1 Division" to include all Police Officers across NSW.
Consequently the organisation changed its name to 'The Police Department Employees Credit Union Limited' on 31 October 1969, with Richard Lewis appointed Chairman and Don Moon as the General Manager.
Rapid Growth of Services
The Credit Union employed its first full time administration officers in 1970 to meet the growing demand for services. By late 1971, membership had reached 2,583 and deposits grew by over half a million dollars from the previous year. By 1972 the organisation was lending nearly $50,000 per month.
Bob Dines became Chairman in 1970 with Arthur Sharp taking on the General Manager role the following year, a position he would hold for over a decade. Ian Pettit, Terry Seery, John Gorman, Bob Page, Merv Taylor and Alan Dahl joined as Directors in the early to mid seventies. Alan Dahl was elected Chairman in 1975 with the auditing firm, Nicholls & Thomas (Kevin Thomas principal), appointed in the same year.
Around this time the Credit Union appointed Dennis Neate as a 'Field & Promotions Officer'(the forerunner to our Business Development Officers of today) to increase awareness of Police Credit Union across the state.
The Era of Computerisation
The administration of the Credit Union took a giant leap forward with computerisation of its operation in the mid seventies.
Computerisation enabled the Credit Union to send out quarterly statements of Member's accounts and offer automatic payroll deductions for Officers which further enhanced membership and product growth.
By 1974 PCU was still growing at an average rate of 25 Members per week with total membership at 6,400. Average interest rates offered by the Credit Union matched market rates, 12% on loans and 8% for deposits.
By now the Credit Union had relocated to larger premises at 377-383 Sussex St, Sydney with a total of 10 staff. In 1976 loans advanced exceeded five million for the first time with Members deposits reaching a new benchmark of $10 million. Membership of the Credit Union stood at 9,000.
In 1978 continued growth triggered another move of the Credit Union's headquarters to Hyde Park Square, corner of Bathurst and Elizabeth Streets, Sydney.
By 1979 PCU had a staff of 15 and was now offering insurance products. By the end of the decade, the organisation had grown substantially with 14,203 Members and deposits totalling $30 million.
An Important Relationship
Strong bonds were forming in the 70's between PCU and the NSW Police Association. This seemed only natural as both organisations existed (and continue to) for the welfare of police and their families. PCU was able to advertise its services through Police News, the monthly journal of the Association. The Board of PCU has a long history of representation from Police Association ranks.
New Head Office and Branch Expansion
Reflective of PCU's continuing growth, a significant milestone occurred in 1982 with the purchase of the organisation's own premises at 309 Pitt St, Sydney to house a new Head Office(first and second floors) and Branch operation on the ground floor.
In 1984 Police Credit Union opened a Branch at the Goulburn Academy. In 1989 in partnership with the Australian Federal Police Association, a Branch in Canberra was opened to service members of the Australian Federal Police.
Expanding Products & Services
In1986 a special Home Value Loan (HVL) was launched with over $5.1 million approved within the first year. Visa debit cards (with a 'line of credit') were also introduced along with the 'Edvest' service in partnership with Bridges Advisors to provide Members with full and comprehensive retirement planning advice.
Special arrangements were introduced in 1987 for Members to deposit into their PCU account at either an ANZ or National Australia Branch across Australia free of charge. This made it more convenient for Members particularly as PCU didn't have a large number of Branches at the time.
Cheque books were launched in May 1987 as were foreign currency traveller's cheques. Purpose specialist savings accounts and more flexible term deposits were also introduced during the decade attracting further deposits from Members.
Computer Phone Banking ('phonebank') was launched in 1988. This enabled Members to automatically manage their accounts, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
In 1981, fortnightly deductions from police salaries to PCU reached $1,000,000 for the first time. The organisation also benefited in 1986 with a decision by the Police Force to pay their Officers electronically into an account as opposed to cheque. With Police Association support, Police Credit Union was the preferred institution. The effect was immediate with over 5,000 Members choosing to have their pays directed to PCU resulting in $2.9 million in salaries being received per fortnight (increasing to over $5 million per fortnight late 1987).
By 1985 Police Credit Union was the 9th largest Credit Union in Australia with total assets of $91 million. In 1986, 9000 Visa Cards had been issued with 1,500 transactions per day. Home loan balances totalled $9 million.
In 1988 membership was over 25,000 and loan balances reached $50 million with total assets now $142 million. By the end of the decade, membership stood at 29,100 and assets had increased to $152 million.
Arthur Sharp resigned as General Manager in 1981 replaced by Ray Hinks who himself retired in 1988 with Max Dunstan subsequently appointed. Arthur Sharp retired as a Director in 1988 bringing to a close 24 years of service to PCU. Bob Page was elected Chairman in 1989 taking over from Alan Dahl.
Merv Taylor retired in 1989 after serving as a Director for 14 years. Bob McClelland, Lloyd Taylor and Geoff Green joined as Directors in the late 1980's.
The early nineties brought about significant expansion with the opening and upgrading of new Branches.
In December 1990 Commissioner John Avery opened a new expanded Branch at the Goulburn Academy. In 1991 the establishment of the Parramatta Branch was a major strategic decision to provide improved services to a large majority of Members residing in Western Sydney.
The Newcastle Branch was also opened in 1991 in the Newcastle Police Station due to the very strong increase in business being generated from the Northern/Hunter Region. In September 1993, the Canberra Branch relocated from the Federal Police Association's office in Deakin to modern, expanded facilities in Civic close to the Federal Police Headquarters.
In 1995, Head Office was relocated from 309 Pitt Street to Level 27, 1 Market Street due to the requirement for additional space. Branches at Gosford and Wollongong were also opened. In the following year the Penrith Branch was opened.
Due to rapid growth, between 1998-99 renovations occurred to expand Canberra, Newcastle, Gosford and Wollongong Branches. At the same time increased resources were invested into Loans Direct & Insurance Direct to provide improved service delivery to Members over the phone.
Bob McClelland was appointed Chairman in 1992 replacing Bob Page with Lloyd Taylor assuming the role in 1996. Garry Dunne, Ken Moroney, Anthony Lauer and Michael Wheeler joined the Board during the nineties replacing Bob Dines, Alan Dahl, Bob McClelland and Bob Page. Special mention to Bob Dines, a founding Director of the original Police Credit Union Number One Limited, whose retirement in 1994 bought a close to 30 years of service.
In 1997, Max Dunstan retired as General Manager. He was replaced internally by Bruce Williams, the Executive Manger of Finance, with the title changed to Chief Executive Officer.
Products & Services
The start of this decade heralded in the offering of electronic services to Members with the introduction of ATM facilities and the automated 'RediDial' telephone service.
By the mid 90's, the 'Stay Ahead' Home Loan was launched as well as special loan products for new and used car loans. Leasing Services were also offered for the first time.
1998 saw the introduction of our centralised mortgage loan processing department creating a more streamlined and efficient process. Outsourced insurance operations were also moved inhouse.
In 1999 Police Credit Union moved from an external computer bureau to an internal processing facility. This decision allowed the organization to upgrade its hardware and operating system at a much lower cost. At the same time Student Loans were introduced to help with the cost of studying for Police Trainee Constables at the Academy.
Also in 1999, PCU formalised a sponsorship agreement with Police Legacy, forging a closer relationship with the Police Family. In the same year PCU held its first Charity Golf Day which raised $14,000 for Police Legacy.
In 1995 membership had increased to 42,500 and assets reached $250 million. The organisation also loaned a record $92 million in housing loans.
In 1997, the Credit Union acquired the Penrith City Council Employee's Credit Union offering an improved range of products and services to these employees.
PCU continued to enjoy strong growth and by the end of the decade, assets increased to $453 million.
Breaking into the Millennium
Into the new millennium the success story rolls on. Police Credit Union continued to operate successfully in a highly competitive financial services market.
Paul Biscoe, President of the Retired Police Association, joined the Board in 2000 followed in 2001 by David Walton. Raff Del Vecchio and Graham Loughlin joined in 2008 with Loughlin the first Board Appointed Director. Michael Wheeler (2000), Garry Dunne (2001) and Terry Seery (2008) departed the Board.
Geoff Green took over as Chairman from Lloyd Taylor in 2001, followed by Tony Lauer in 2004 and Ken Moroney in 2007.
Growth Milestones and Customs Credit Union
In 2001, assets reached a new significant milestone, $500 million. By 2003 the Credit Union had over $505 million in loan balances with this figure increasing to $750 million in 2008.
In 2009, The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) officially approved the merger between Police Credit Union (PCU) and HMC Staff Credit Union, an organisation with 2,700 Members. HMC was rebranded to 'Customs Credit Union' to reflect more accurately the membership profile.
Products and Services
In 2000, Police Credit Union launched its website (www.pcu.com.au). The website provided product information, loan applications and messaging. Internet Banking was made available through the website the following year.
In 2002 the Credit Union's core banking system was upgraded to the 'Ultracs' program. The following year, the 'Equity Maximiser' Home Loan, a flexible all in one product, was introduced.
In 2004 PCU made available account access via Australia Post's Giropost service. For Member's convenience, two new ATM machines were also installed in the new Parramatta Police Centre.
In 2005 the Credit Union launched a low rate Visa Credit Card, immediately proving popular with Members. An internet savings account (Online Super Saver) was offered for the first time providing higher interest rates for an at-call account.
In 2009, the Safeguard Savings Account was launched protecting Members from dishonour and overdrawn fees. Also in the same year as a reaction to new ATM Direct Charging Rules, the Credit Union introduced a transaction rebate system for Members.
Reflecting ongoing growth, between 2001-2003, Canberra, Goulburn and Parramatta Branches were upgraded and expanded offering an improved level of service.
In 2004, the Penrith Branch relocated from Henry Street to High Street to larger more modern premises. Also in the same year the Gosford Branch was expanded within the Gosford Police Station.
In 2005, a new Branch was opened in Campbelltown to service the rapidly expanding Outer West/MacArthur Region of Sydney. In the same year, the Newcastle Branch was relocated to more modern and larger premises in Bolton Street. Also in 2005, PCU opened a Processing Centre in Goulburn to house a segment of its administration and information technology functions.
In early 2006, the Wollongong Branch was relocated to 76 Market Street offering the Illawarra Members an improved level of service. In the same year a Branch was opened in Port Macquarie.
In 2007, the Sydney Branch was relocated from 309 Pitt Street to 18 Pelican Street Surry Hills, proving a much more convenient location adjacent to the Sydney Police Centre.
An Exciting Opportunity
In 2012 PCU took a leap forward as Members voted for the Credit Union to become a Bank. Importantly though, the organisation remains a mutual entity owned by its Members, operating under its original charter.
The conversion to a Bank further ensures the organisation remains a strong, secure financial institution.
Celebrating 50 Years 1964-2014
2014 marks the 50th year for Police Bank as mutual financial institution. The organisation thanks all Members for their loyalty and support in helping to achieve this significant milestone.
To celebrate the 50th milestone with Members, a promotion is launched '50 Prizes over 50 Days'.
In September 2014, Police Bank wins 'Best Mutual Bank' and 'Most Trusted Bank' in the 2014 Mozo People's Choice Awards.
The focus for Police Bank remains as it did 50 years ago, that is improving the lives of our Members through competitive products, low fees and superior service.
David Walton replaced Ken Moroney as Chairman in 2012. Col Dyson and Greg McKenna (Board Appointed) joined the Board in 2012 along with Robert Redfern in 2013. Paul Biscoe departed the Board in 2012 followed by Graham Loughlin and Ken Moroney in 2013.
Scott Weber (Board Appointed), President of the Pollice Association joined the Board in February 2015, followed by Tony Lauer's retirement in November 2015.
In 2010, PCU achieved a significant operating milestone with total assets reaching $1 billion. In 2012 deposits exceeded $ 1 billion for the first time. In 2013 total assets stood at $1.38 billion and a new milestone was reached with loans outstanding exceeding $1 billion.
In 2013, Police Bank achieved an above industry Satisfaction Rating of 92% based on independent Member research.
In 2015, total assets exceeded $1.5 billion, and total loans outsanding over $1.1 billion.
Expansion of Services
For Customs Members, new Branches were opened during 2010-11 in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne (in the respective Custom's Headquarters).
In December 2012, a new Branch was opened at Norwest to service the expanding Hills District in outer Sydney.
Products & Services
In 2010, Electronic monthly statements were introduced to make it easier and faster for Members to receive a record of their transactional information. In the same year, PCU also improved its Visa Card product with the launch of new microchip technology. An upgrade also occurred to the website providing an overall improved and more efficient user friendly online experience.
In 2011 a new savings account, 'Bonus Saver', was launched providing Members with the opportunity to reach their savings goals faster. Mobile phone banking was also made available in the same year offering Members the convenience of accessing internet banking from a mobile/tablet device.
A number of further enhancements were introduced at this time such as the 'Verified by Visa' service and upgrades with internet banking to help Members self-manage their account.
Social Media arrived for Police Credit Union in 2011 with the launch of Facebook and Twitter channels, instantly proving popular with Members.
In 2012, a new children's savings account called 'Dynamo' was launched with immediate take-up. The account promotes and educates children on the fundamentals of saving and managing money during the year. In March of the same year, foreign currency requests were digitalised meaning telegraphic transfers could be requested online, making the process quicker and easier.
In 2013, the Bank upgraded its resources in the monitoring of transactional activity for any possible fraudulent behaviour.
In maintaining a competitive position Police Bank announced the launch of the Goldrate Home Loan in 2015, featuring a special low interest rate, no annual or monthly fees, redraw facility, and no penalties.
In 2012, Police Bank's Visa Credit Card was awarded 'Gold 5 Stars' by the highly respected rating Agency, Canstar. 'Money Magazine' also rated our Easy Access Account as the winner of the 'Best Everyday Account'.
In 2013, Canstar awarded Police Bank 'Most Satisfied Customers' in the Non Major Banks category. Canstar also recognised the Bank for 'Best Online Banking' in the Mutual Banks category. Our Social Media Team was also highly commended.
In 2014, Police Bank's First Home Saver Account was awarded the 'Best First Home Saver Account' by Money Magazine in the Best of the Best Awards. Mozo also awarded the Bank a Gold Medal for its 'Visa Credit Card Balance Transfer', and recognised the Bank as the 'Best Mutual Bank' and 'Most Trusted Bank' in the Mozo People's Choice Awards.
In 2015, Mozo awarded the Bank Gold Medals for its 'Low Rate Credit Card' and 'Term Deposits', along with again recognising the Bank as the 'Best Mutual Bank' and 'Most Trusted Bank' in the Mozo People's Choice Awards. Canstar also awarded the Bank's Low Rate Visa Credit Card with a '5 Star Outstanding Value Award'.
In 2015 Police Bank took an exciting step to a new Head Office at 25 Pelican Street, Surry Hills. Just around the corner from the Sydney Police Headquarters, the new Police Bank Head Office is in a prime position to better serve the NSW Police Community.
The new Head Office consists of 2 floors plus the new Sydney Service Centre on ground floor.
In 2015 Police Bank launched new digital services including the Police Bank App (iOS & Android), a new Internet Banking platform and an improved user-friendly Website. The three newly designed applications use the latest technologies to brings Members a modern, seamless banking experience across all platforms. Internet Banking and the new Website have improved user interface, simplified design, and enhanced security protocols.
Community Involvement & 100 Years Women in Policing
In 2015 Police Bank has continued community support and also launched the Bank's Coffee Cart to take to community events.
2015, was the year the NSW Police Force celebrated 100 Years of Women in Policing and 50 years since women were officially 'sworn in' as Constables and given the full powers of a Police Officer. Because of this significant milestone, a range of events took place including a Women in Policing Expo featuring historic displays and demonstrations from the Mounted Unit, Forensic Services Group and the Police Band. Police Bank was proud to be supporting the compassion, courage and strength of women in the Force.
We hope you enjoyed the trip through time with
Police Bank / PCU.