In the Spotlight... Costa Anastasiou from Police Credit Union

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for something new in your life - be it taking on a kitchen renovation, booking an overseas trip or finally upgrading your car. And the best way to fund those big dreams? An award-winning personal loan, of course.

So with 2017 under way, we’ve revisited one of the personal loan providers that really stood out in our 2016 Experts Choice Awards, and even snagged top honours as Personal Loan Lender of the Year - none other than customer owned Police Credit Union. We sat down with Chief Executive Officer, Costa Anastasiou, to discuss Police Credit Union’s win.

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By Mozo· Thursday 19 January 2017

1. Police Credit Union really shone in this year’s Mozo Experts Choice Personal Loan Awards. What would you say sets your personal loans apart from the rest?

Other than the awesome leading rate, the overall integrity of the product makes it a compelling proposition and easy to promote. Features such as no penalties for making early or extra repayments, no monthly fees, available for new and used cars, free online redraw and apply by 10am, money by 5pm, set it apart from the competition.

2. Your Fixed Rate Car Loan has one of the lowest rates in the market at 5.59% (5.86% comparison rate), so it’s no wonder it took out a Best New Car Loan award. What made you decide to set your car loan interest rate so low, and does being a credit union play a part in this?

Being a customer owned financial institution, we recognise that our members deserve more from us than what they’d receive from a major bank. Each year, we calculate Member Value; the monetary quantum of benefit that our members receive.

As part of this process, we undertake a detailed comparison against the major banks, giving consideration to superior service standards, better loan and deposit interest rates, free access services and fairer fees and charges. Member Value (as compared to major banks) was calculated as $245.12 per Member, or an aggregate $8.948 million, for the 12 month period to 30 June 2016.

At Police Credit Union we have been, and always will be, focused on putting the owners of our business, our members, first. We will continue to deliver compelling value propositions through a range of flexible and highly competitive financial products (such as the Fixed Rate Car Loan) and services while contributing to the ongoing support of our communities.

3. At the moment you’re offering a Green Loan Discount, which gives customers 0.50% off their rate if they’re borrowing for environmentally friendly purposes. What made you decide to introduce this discount?

A sense of social responsibility is central to Police Credit Union’s business philosophy and is a key strategic focus. Providing meaningful and relevant contributions to our community and environment has always been a measure of our success.

Police Credit Union’s ‘Plant the Seed’ Foundation is our commitment to playing an active role in the enhancement, conservation and sustainability of our community and environment. During the 2016 period, we invested over $397,000 through sponsorships, volunteer programs and charitable donations.

As part of our pledge to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner, we are also committed to reducing our carbon emissions by at least 5% each year, targeting a carbon neutral position by 2020. During the current period, we have achieved a 5.05% reduction in our carbon footprint as part of our strategy. Offering borrowers an incentive to purchase an ‘environmentally friendly’ car is simply an extension of our sense of corporate social responsibility.

4. Apart from the interest rate, what else would you recommend borrowers look for when choosing a personal loan?

Check to make sure it’s a personal loan and not a finance lease. Ask about penalties for making early or extra repayments, monthly or annual fees, whether the facility is available for new and used cars, does it have a redraw option, what is the rollover rate upon expiry of the fixed term and how quickly you can get the loan.

Costa Anastasiou commenced with Police Credit Union in 2002 and was appointed Chief Executive Officer and Company Secretary in July 2007. As Chief Executive Officer, Costa has the responsibility of leading the organisation to successfully implement the Group Strategy; including the achievement of its major goal – delivering a customer experience second to none, and its vision to be the Credit Union that best understands and fulfils the financial aspirations of its members and our people.