Melbourne University Credit Union maintained their focus of looking after the financial interests of their members at Melbourne University from their inception in 1970 right through to their becoming a division of Pulse Credit Union in 2011. There were no mergers in that time and only one name change from Melbourne University Credit Co-operative to Melbourne University Credit Union in 2002. Those of you with any knowledge of the Australian credit union and mutual banking movement will know that this is a most rare thing.

The 2005 Melbourne University Credit Union Annual Report stated in its “Aims and Objectives” that:

“The primary goal of the Melbourne University Credit Union Limited is facilitating the economic health and financial success of members and their families as one component of members’ personal well-being and development. MUCU is not profit orientated and benefits will be returned to members through the rates and services offered … The Melbourne University Credit Union Limited is concerned about the particular needs of the University Community and aims to meet those needs by developing a closer union with members”.

Today, Pulse Credit Union has an open bond but a look at their current board shows that they still have a significant link to academia. The 2005 MUCU annual report has some interesting details on how the credit union was tracking at the time. It notes that “Internet Banking came on stream near the end of the financial year after a period of testing to ensure smooth introduction and minimisation of risks. It has already proved extremely popular with members”.

Also in the 2004/2005 financial year MUCU replaced its solitary ATM and noted that “membership increased slightly during the year, but there is much work to be done on expanding our membership to achieve benefits from economies of scale”.

An interesting aspect of MUCU’s history was detailed in the October 1997 edition of Directions magazine. An article about the Workplace Relations Act of 1996 included an interview with John Cullen, the General Manager of Melbourne University Credit Union, about MUCU’s introduction of the new workplace agreements. MUCU was the first credit union to make use of the new legislation.

Mr Cullen said the new process worked well for MUCU and that “staff are happy as they have been given a clearer picture and an indication of the future of their job”.