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SYDNEY Australia – A KPMG survey of member-owned financial institutions including 66 credit unions and 12 building societies showed they are having rough sledding against banks. Building societies are co-operative banks that finance mainly mortgages.Credit unions surveyed were found to have loan growth of 8.5% and building societies of 12.5% compared to the market as a whole at 15.5%. Most of the growth came from home mortgages, according to Martin McGrath of KPMG. Deposits did not fare much better which grew between six and seven percent for member-owned financial institutions compared to 20% at banking rivals. Despite the lower results, the KPMG survey stated, “It’s a very creditable performance in such a competitive market, considering they don’t have the advertising budgets and marketing budgets of the major banks,” McGrath said. In the past where credit unions were favored over banks for the customer service after banks cut back on the number of branches and personal service. Many banks are now reversing this trend. McGrath said the banks are “competing on the turf of building societies and credit unions.” He also pointed out member-owned financial institutions are better in holding costs down. All those surveyed showed a profit.

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