Australia’s small financial institutions are linking up to survive low interest rates and an ageing demographic

The first members of the Nambucca Banana Growers Federation Members Credit Union repaid their loans in bananas. Twenty cents from every box sold at the Sydney markets was put towards paying down modest debts.

The credit union was started in 1970 by a group of 11 banana growers from the Nambucca Valley on the NSW mid-north coast. Now called the Bananacoast Community Credit Union, on 1 November it will merge with the Perth-based P&N Bank to become one of Australia’s largest member-owned financial institutions.

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