Credit Union Incitec Pivot was born as CFL Credit Union in Brisbane in 1972. The formation meeting was held in the Professional Officers’ Association HQ in Ann Street in May of that year. It had a remarkably successful beginning with around 40% of CFL employees becoming members of the credit union after only 12 months of operation.

After 10 years of trading, there were 1263 full members of CFL CU and 317 associate members. Australian Credit Unions Magazine had this to say on CFL’s 10th birthday:

“On a broad scale, CFL’s average savings per member is one of the highest within the credit union movement in Australia. This indicator is consistent with CFL’s rating as one of the most successful industry based credit unions”.

In 1984 its name was changed to Credit Union Incitec and then Credit Union Incitec Pivot in 2004. Incitec Pivot has a long history of chemical production in Australia, most notably in phosphate based fertilisers. Interestingly, Pivot began as the Phosphate Co-operative Company of Australia in 1919, so it seems that mutuality was in their DNA …

Australian Credit Unions Magazine spoke to Credit Union Incitec Chairman, Tom Watson (pictured below), in June 1993 when he made a statement on their philosophy:

“We are keenly aware our members wouldn’t be enjoying the level of services we make available without the support of the Movement at large, particularly through co-operative ventures such as member chequing, information technology and Redinet. Access to such services is a classic example of the benefits of the ‘pooling of resources’. It’s what sets us apart from our competitors”.

The Australian mutual financial movement is known for many positive contributions to Australian society, an important one being the early and ongoing promotion of talented women to responsible positions on boards and as CEOs. One of these talented women was Gwen Watson who was profiled in Australian Credit Unions Magazine in February 1996 on her retirement as General Manager of CU Incitec.

When Gwen started working at the credit union in 1973, she didn’t know what a credit union was. Nevertheless, she rose to become General Manager in 1982 and stayed in that role until her retirement. Gwen told Australian Credit Unions Magazine that the best decision the credit union made was their support of Youth Forums.

“We’ve had two lots of kids attend the Youth Forums in the last two years, and the change in the kids is just marvelous”, said Gwen.

Incitec stayed with a winning formula by employing Elizabeth Taylor as Gwen’s successor as General Manager. Elizabeth had been with Incitec for 18 years by that stage.

Just two years after the name change to Credit Union Incitec Pivot in 2004, the business transferred engagements to Circle Credit Co-operative.