In the Spotlight... Therese Turner from MOVE Bank

Whether you’re renovating your home, planning the holiday of a lifetime, or finally trading up for a new set of wheels, personal loans are one way to make your big life goals a reality. And MOVE Bank, the Mozo Experts Choice Personal Loan Provider of the Year 2019, is in the business of unbeatable personal loans.

We sat down with Therese Turner, CEO of MOVE Bank, to talk about how customer-owned banks are leading the way on value and service, MOVE Bank’s strategy to stay at the top of it’s game and how to pick an award-winning personal loan.

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By Kelly Emmerton· Wednesday 11 December 2019

Customers first mindset

MOVE Bank began life as Railways Credit Union in 1968 to help railway workers and their families build their financial futures. It’s been proudly member-owned since then, and has grown to 22,000 members, with more than $600 million in assets under management.

“We’ve come a long way since 1968, but our commitment to putting customers first remains as strong as ever. Today, our customers trust us to help them achieve their financial goals sooner with some of the best products and rates in the market,” Turner says.

“At MOVE Bank we are owned by customers, so we put the interests of our customers at the forefront of everything we do. By placing the needs of our customers’ first, we’re able to deliver some extremely competitive rates, and have consistently provided value for customers over many years.”

And in an environment in which some banks - particularly the big 4 - have been under fire for doing the exact opposite, keeping customers needs at the heart of banking is a welcome change.  When it comes to Australia’s financial future, Turner was positive about customer-owned banking’s role.

“With market-leading customer satisfaction and product offerings, customer-owned banks play an important role in helping everyday Australians manage their finances to achieve their goals,” she says.

Helping Aussies embrace financial wellness

But great, customer-focussed banking doesn’t just come down to competitive products. MOVE Bank has recently partnered with Your Financial Wellness, an online program with resources to help keep Aussies financially fit.

Through an online portal, MOVE Bank customers can take a “financial fitness checkup” to see what condition their finances are currently in, and then strengthen their financial wellbeing through money management resources and self-paced tutorials.

“With around 2.4 million people experiencing severe or high financial stress in Australia, it’s extremely important to us that we support the financial wellbeing of our customers. That’s why the decision to partner with Your Financial Wellness was a simple one,” Turner said.

Excellence across the board

After this year’s Mozo Experts Choice Personal Loan Awards, MOVE Bank now has the title of Personal Loan Provider of the Year to hang on its mantel, along with two individual Awards in the New Car Loan and Unsecured Personal Loan categories.

With three new Mozo Experts Choice Awards under its belt, we had to ask: how are MOVE Bank products kept so competitive?

“Our commitment to providing great value, easy-to-use banking products means that we are constantly reviewing our offering to ensure products have the features that our members want at the most competitive rates possible,” Turner says.

“We do this by keeping an eye on the wider market and listening to member feedback to ensure products offer maximum value. This approach has positioned us as a market-leader, with our products frequently recognised as some of the best in the market.”

And “frequently” is not an overstatement - MOVE Bank is no stranger to being named a Mozo Experts Choice winner. 

It’s been sweeping up wins throughout the year, from a Mozo Experts Choice Award for the MOVE Bank Low Rate Credit Card in October, another three for its Straightforward Home Loan in March, right back to the Express Saver picking up a No Strings Saver Award in February. Talk about a good track record.

Last word of advice 

While an Experts Choice Award (or three) is a good way to tell an exceptional personal loan from an average one, there are other things to keep in mind when comparing loans and finding the best fit for you. For Turner, one feature is key: the comparison rate.

The comparison rate is a percentage, displayed next to the headline rate, which shows you the “true” cost of a loan, taking into account fees and interest.

“If the comparison rate is a lot higher than the advertised rate, it’s an indicator that there are extra fees associated with the loan. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions like: what is the application fee? are there any ongoing monthly fees? and will I be charged a penalty for making extra payments or paying the loan out early?” Turner urges.

“At MOVE Bank, we just charge an establishment fee to set up the loan, but there are no ongoing fees or penalties for paying out the loan early.”