Bank Australia FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Who is Bank Australia?

Bank Au

Previously known as bankmecu, Bank Australia is a 100 percent customer-owned bank that has been operating since 1957. Bank Australia’s operations have been also completely carbon neutral  since 2012 and the bank does not finance fossil fuel projects. (See next question below.)

 

Does Bank Australia finance fossil fuel projects?

No. The bank’s lending policy states “Bank Australia has not made any loan to the fossil fuel industry” and “Bank Australia has not and will not make any loans to finance coal and coal seam gas projects”. Click here to read the lending policy.

Independent not-for-profit Market Forces includes Bank Australia in its list of banks with no record of funding fossil fuel projects.

The bank’s lending policy states “Bank Australia has not made any loan to the fossil fuel industry” and “Bank Australia has not and will not make any loans to finance coal and coal seam gas projects”.

 

Why is Conservation SA partnering with Bank Australia?

Although a relatively recent phenomenon, the global fossil fuel divestment movement has already shown itself to be a potent force for cutting pollution. Universities, institutions and sovereign wealth funds around the world have committed to shift hundreds of billions of dollars away from coal, gas and coal seam gas.

Conservation SA wants to support this movement, and one of the best ways to do that is encouraging people to switch their home loans away from the big, dirty banks. Home loans are very profitable, so this form of divestment hits banks where it hurts.

 

Why just Bank Australia, not other banks?

We recognise that several banks in Australia have no record of financing fossil fuel projects. Some have also ruled out financing coal, gas or coal seam gas in the future. For a list of these banks and their public statements, visit the Market Forces bank comparison website.

Conservation SA fully supports these banks ruling out financing fossil fuels, and we recommend switching to one of these banks based on your financial needs.

At this stage, we have chosen to partner just with Bank Australia because we have a strong existing relationship with them and trust their track record and values. Bank Australia also has a Conservation Reserve to protect biodiversity and offset some of the impact of its products (see next question below), which sets it apart from other banks.

We also want to avoid a ‘brokerage’ model because the extra costs involved in managing many partnerships often need to be recouped through fees. Under our single partnership model, the home loan offer from Bank Australia has no extra fees or charges levied by Conservation SA.

 

What are Bank Australia’s environmental credentials?

The most important one is that Bank Australia does not finance fossil fuel projects. The bank’s lending policy states “Bank Australia has not made any loan to the fossil fuel industry” and “Bank Australia has not and will not make any loans to finance coal and coal seam gas projects”. Click here to read the lending policy.

Bank Australia is also 100 percent carbon neutral, and has a Conservation Reserve in Victoria which it uses to protect biodiversity and to offset some of the impact of its products. For example, when customers use the bank’s finance to build new homes, habitat might be cleared to make way for them. So the bank protects an equivalent amount of habitat in the Conservation Reserve to balance out that loss. The bank also uses it to offset the emissions from all the cars that it finances for the life of the loan.

In 2014, when Bank Australia was still trading under the name bankmecu, it became a key member of our Future Economy Group, a coalition of businesses and environmental leaders advocating the importance of innovation and restoring natural capital to Victoria’s economy.

 

Does Conservation SA receive a financial contribution if I switch my home loan?

Yes. If you shift to your home loan through us, Conservation SA will receive a financial contribution towards our campaigns to shift Victoria away from fossil fuels. (To be totally transparent with you, it’s a one-off payment of 0.40% of the loan value, but it doesn’t affect your interest rate, fees or loan structure in any way.)

 

Does shifting my home loan through Conservation SA increase my interest rate or fees?

No. Conservation SA receives a one-off payment of 0.40% of the loan value, but it doesn’t affect your interest rate, fees or loan structure in any way.

 

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Contact Conservation SA on (08) 8223 5155, general@conservationsa.org.au, or at our offices at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide.

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