One of the most important uses of our resources and knowledge is for the production of credit union and mutual bank history books. Many of these have been produced with our help over the years, including for CUA (Great Southern Bank).

These histories vary in depth and scope. Some are small documents, mostly produced for marketing purposes, while others are substantial books, the result of much hard work and scholarship. One of the first big credit union history books was The Morality of Money: A Study of the first 21 Years of the CPS Credit Union Co-operative, which was published in 1984 and authored by R.S. (Stuart) Wall.

This book was published one year before the emergence of our forerunner, the Australian Credit Union Historical Co-operative. Very few serious credit union or mutual bank histories have been published since without recourse to our memory bank.

The Morality of Money is a hefty hardback tome of 250 pages. The first chapter is titled “From Inception to the First AGM” and the last is titled “The Last Leg”. Before all that there is the foreword by Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke. It reads in part:

C.P.S. Credit Union, like credit unions throughout Australia has played an important part in the growth and development of this great country of ours. In this case, thousands of public servants and their families in Canberra have benefitted from the wisdom, foresight and dedication of those who developed CPS as an institution based on those important co-operative principles of equality, equity and mutual self-help.

The credit union began in 1960 as ACOA Co-operative Savings and Loan Society Limited (the Australian Clerical Officers' Association was a union with branches in each state) and became CPS Credit Union Co-operative (ACT) in 1991. The “ACT” was to distinguish it from CPS Credit Unions operating in other states representing federal public servants. 

The book’s “Author’s Acknowledgements” notes, “The ultimate document for the printer was achieved with the co-operation of Robert Keogh, the Credit Union’s Manager since 1983”. This is interesting because the credit union became Community CPS Australia in 2006 when it merged with CPS Credit Union (SA) and in 2013 Community CPS Australia began trading as Beyond Bank. In 2022, Robert Keogh remains CEO of Beyond Bank.

The Morality of Money is a fantastic resource and an interesting read. Most mutuals today have been through several mergers and would struggle to write their history without our help. Contact us if you’re thinking of putting together the history of your mutual.

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