Community in Credit Unions: Has banking regulationimpaired CSR in Australian Customer Owned Banks?

Dianne McGrath


This paper presents a sector scan of a sample of Australian Credit Unions and Mutual Banks to examine the CSR reporting from the perspective of the three pillars model proposed by vanOorschot, de Hoog, van der Steen and van Twist (2013). It is argued that the pillar requiringco-operatives to ensure activities which ‘aim for change’, should promote increasing adoptionof CSR. The paper theorises that regulatory requirements imposed in Australia on all bankinginstitutions carry a higher proportional cost to the customer owned banking sector than theshareholder based commercial banks. This consumption of the limited financial resourcesavailable in this sector of banking services, are inhibiting regional Customer Owned Bankingproviders, as co-operative organisations, to fulfil the required co-operative principle to instigatechange for the betterment of communities. This failure could signal the demise of some entitiesin the jurisdiction of Customer Owned Banking.


Cooperatives, Credit Union, Customer Owned Banking, CSR, Social Accounting, Sustainability.

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