John Tancevski, CEO of Community First, said, “Our brand has a proud 62-year legacy, and the federal court victory served to send a strong message that Community First will defend its rights when challenged.
“Community First Bank, and other mutuals, have provided community banking for many years, and I am confident that our members share our passion for the right to use and defend our longstanding name and business model. “We fought the case because a franchise-like business should not own the “Community Bank” concept. As a “Customer-Owned Bank”, our community-based stores located around Sydney can rightfully call themselves ‘Community Banks’.”
In a significant show of support, the community banking industry swung in behind Community First, including the Customer-Owned Banking Association and Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM), which congratulated Community First on successfully winning the legal stoush.
BCCM CEO Melina Morrison said, “Community banking is more than a trademark or marketing strategy. It is a philosophy of service that sees the bank support the community that supports them,” Ms Morrison said.
“Community-owned banks are a key pillar of Australia’s co-operative and mutual business sector. In 2019, this was formally recognized by the Commonwealth Government who changed the Corporations Act to ensure co-operatives and mutuals were properly defined and able to raise capital.
“It is important that all Australians are able to have choice in who they bank with and how they bank.”
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