A sole Australian company, Teachers Mutual, has been recognised as one of the world’s “most ethical companies”, by global ethics body Ethisphere Institute.
Teachers Mutual Bank Limited was one of just five banks to receive the accolade and the only Australian company on this year’s list.
The financial institution has served Australian educators for more than 50 years and has grown into one of Australia’s largest mutual banks. It boasts in excess of 200,000 members and charts more than $7.5bn in assets.
“Our operations are carbon neutral, our investments are fossil fuel free, and we don’t have conflicts between shareholder and customer interests. Our members can have confidence that that’s not going to change,” said the bank’s CEO, Steve James.
The citation from Ethisphere Institute covers three of the bank’s four brands: Teachers Mutual Bank, UniBank, and Firefighters Mutual Bank.
The member-owned model employed by mutual banks ensures that the best interests of customers are placed above profit, an assurance that has become all the more sought after in light of the royal commission.
James said, “The royal commission has shown what happens when you lose sight of the customers’ interests, but for 52 years we’ve been focused solely on them. That’s a big reason we’re recognised as one of the world’s most ethical companies.”
The bank is the largest in Australia to certify deposits and mortgages as socially responsible.