IMB Bank has been named one of Australia's top four banks by influential American business magazine Forbes.
Employees turned up to work on Wednesday to the news Illawarra's home grown bank was named Australia's fourth best bank in Forbes' list of the world's best banks.
Forbes magazine developed the list with the help of market research from Statista who measured the best banks in more than 20 countries.
Statista surveyed more than 40,000 customers around the globe for their opinions on their current and former banking relationships. The banks were rated on overall recommendation and satisfaction as well as trust, terms and conditions, customer service, digital services and financial advice.
IMB chief executive Robert Ryan said Forbes' recognition capped a strong year for the mutual retail bank which recently completed a successful merger with Newcastle-based Hunter United. That move as IMB Bank entered its 140th year is the latest in its continuing expansion aspirations.
Mr Ryan said IMB Bank was growing faster the the big four banks.
In addition to acquisitions and growing organically by entering new markets, customer satisfaction in the services it provides was a major reason why.
Mr Ryan said more and more people dissatisfied with the four major banks are coming to IMB.
"When you look at IMB and the member based banks our course has always been about that personal service that is very much focused on our members because our customers are our owners," he said.
"We are very pleased to receive further validation that our focus on customer experience, their financial outcomes and digital innovation is being well received.
"I think it is recognition we are also of a size now where we can deliver some really innovative digital assets and interactions as well as maintaining our branch network.
"It really is about giving customers of all ages and situations the chance to use the bank the way they want to use it".
The Forbes recognition follows RFi Group awarding IMB Bank recognition as Best Mutual Bank of the Year in 2018 and being a finalist in the Most Innovative Mutual of the Year category in 2019.
"We are delighted to be recognised in this way and we will keep pushing to remain one of the world's best banks and among the very best in Australia"
Mr Ryan said staff were very proud and had every right to be when they heard the news on Wednesday morning.
"They are the core and heart of IMB. They have always put our members first. And they take the time to listen to them. They are the reason why have existed for 140 year".
IMB Banks' growing branch network includes the Illawarra, South Coast, Australian Capital Territory, Sydney, Melbourne and the Newcastle-Hunter region.
The news comes as IMB Bank sings on as the major sponsor of the Illawarra Business Awards and joined the Illawarra Business Chamber on Wednesday to call for entries following COVID-19.
It also follows the IMB Bank Community Foundation fast tracking funding to some organisations in desperate need for help because of the coronavirus crisis.
""We are committed to doing more. We are not deferring the community foundation. With the easing of COVID-10 restrictions we can now interact and meet up with more organisations who have applied for funding," Mr Ryan said.
Forbes list of Australia's best four banks:
- Entries open for 2020 IMB Bank Illawarra Business Awards which have risen above COVID-19 crisis
- Thousands of dollars handed out in community grants by Stockland Shellharbour and centre manager acknowledged for going above and beyond
- Kiama founded men's walk, talk and support group wins NSW Men's Health Award and goes national
- Wollongong's most iconic restaurant The Charcoal Tavern reopens soon on the original site in the new 21-storey Signature Wollongong
- They told him it would never work but 40 years later Jim Eddy can celebrate the story of how he took some farm land at Jamberoo and turned it into a major theme park
- New look wellness centre at Jamberoo Resort healthy for region's visitor economy
- Take a look inside Lake Illawarra's historic manor house up for sale
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