Battle with the BCU was a winner for all

AFTER 12 years at the helm of local community credit union BCU, Ray Battle has stepped aside as CEO, with Lyndon Kingston appointed to take the organisation into its next growth phase.

Since joining BCU in 1988, Ray has seen the credit union grow from 15,000 members to its current membership of 55,000. He came to the organisation at a time before ATMs and Internet banking were introduced and has seen BCU's assets grow from $31.6 million to more than $950 million today.

Ray is moving into an advisory role with BCU until his retirement on February 28, 2009.

“I have seen such change during my time as CEO of the credit union,” Ray said.

“I'm looking forward to my retirement and will be watching with keen interest as the organisation moves into its exciting new phase of growth.”

Moving from Brisbane to join BCU in July this year, Lyndon comes to the credit union from APRA, the organisation responsible for overseeing the governance and prudential operations of banks, building societies and credit unions.

He is a chartered accountant with 20 years experience in the banking sector and has a Masters degree in Commerce.

The banking industry is certainly tough at the moment and there are plenty of bad news stories in the media surrounding the uncertainty of the economy.

However BCU is very much a local success story.

It was started 38 years ago at the famous Pub With No Beer by banana growers, who wanted to support each other financially. Lyndon said this local community focus was particularly relevant today.

As an authorised deposit-taking institution covered by the Government Deposit Guarantee, Lyndon believes that BCU is an appealing alternative to the banks.

“We fund our loans from local member deposits and our reserves,” Lyndon said.

“With a 12 per cent reported growth in loans last financial year, more than $74.5 million in capital, which is well above the requirement set by APRA, and BCU's reputation for customer satisfaction, we are offering members the security and services they need - with the trademark BCU smile.

“We have a bright future and are planning on growth in the region. In December we are opening two additional branches in Murwillumbah and Beaudesert, to meet the demand for community banking services in Northern NSW and South-East Queensland. I encourage people who want to be part of a local success story to come and talk to us about money.”

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