Andrew Hadley joined P&N Bank as CEO in 2014, having previously worked in various executive roles in the customer-owned banking industry, including more than twenty years with Credit Union Australia (CUA).

“When I joined P&N, I saw a huge opportunity to challenge the big four banks with, in essence, the only locally-owned customer financial institution. As opposed to other parts of Australia, I could see that P&N had Western Australia to itself.

Committed to building member value; improving organization effectiveness; and partnering for growth

During the first two years of his tenure as CEO, Andrew has initiated and driven the company’s five-year strategic plan, which focuses on three key pillars: building member value; improving organisational effectiveness; and partnering for growth. “We also created our ‘brand belief’ which is the lens through which all business decisions are made,” says Andrew. “With a core focus on member value, last year we updated and refreshed our member value proposition, and rolled out our new brand platform, the ‘Power of &’.”  The Power of & speaks to the inherent truth of individuals being stronger when they operate as a collective.

Since these changes have taken place, says Andrew, the company has seen many achievements — significant growth among them. “We’ve experienced huge loan growth over the last twelve months against industry trends,” he says. “In fact, I would suggest that we are the fastest-growing customer-owned bank in Australia at this point in time, and that’s notwithstanding the fairly challenging current West Australian economy.”

People, process and technology: ‘There’s no silver bullet to success’

There’s “no silver bullet” to success, he says, pointing out that many factors working together have helped P&N Bank to make headway. “We have leading industry customer satisfaction levels and a very high Net Promoter Score. The first of our new product line, our ‘& Home Loan’, was introduced last year and has been extremely popular,” he says. “From a process perspective, we’ve achieved a 200-per-cent improvement in efficiencies in terms of processing lending transactions. More broadly, and certainly from a brand perspective, we’re cutting through in the market because we’re very clear about what we stand for. So it’s a combination of different things, including people, process, and technology.”

As Andrew says, these strides forward have been made during a challenging time in Western Australia. He joined P&N towards the end of the mining boom — a major economic driver for Western Australia in the preceding years — as well as in times of uncertainty around house prices, unemployment, and the broader Western Australian economy.

“Growth in spite of challenges, and partnering with like-minded organisations, have helped P&N become what it is today.”

Embracing a digitally-focused future

“There’s probably another year or two of economic pain ahead,” says Andrew. The other challenge that we’ve faced, not dissimilar to other financial institutions, is the level of regulation that we are currently subject to. For smaller financial institutions, the impact of that regulation is significantly more and there are no signs of that abating. So we spend a lot of time making sure we’re meeting the regulators’ expectations.”

The final challenge identified by Andrew, is one that he sees as more of an opportunity — taking the company into a more digitally-focused future. The company’s existing digital assets and processes are currently being upgraded to offer a much improved member experience.

“I recognise that digital is the future of banking whether you’re the Commonwealth Bank or P&N,” says Andrew. “We began with a complete review of our digital assets which revealed a number of potential opportunities. Once the gaps were identified, our upgrade commenced with the complete replacement of our website, partnering with another mutual organisation to go live in record time. We’ll continue to evolve our mobile banking apps, and the P&N team are currently in the midst of simplifying the enterprise technology architecture.

“Growth in spite of challenges, and partnering with like-minded organisations, have helped P&N become what it is today,” says Andrew. “As a result, we’re expanding and certainly believe that we’re offering a genuine alternative to the major banks,” he says. “Pleasingly, our value proposition is clearly cutting through in the marketplace.”