Our Values

Who are we?

Horizon Bank is an award winning, customer-owned financial institution located on the NSW south coast, with our branches spanning from Thirroul to Merimbula. We provide a full range of banking products & services across nine branches and hold assets in excess of $663 million.

As a mutual organisation, Horizon Bank exists for the benefit of, and is proudly owned by, its customers.

Horizon Bank has transformed, adapted and evolved over the years ever since it began in 1964 as a credit union with the goal of creating the best quality products and services for all of our customers.


Our History

In 1964, Stan Arneil, who was the Government appointed organiser of Credit Unions at that time, visited Wollongong and spoke to various employees of the Illawarra County Council regarding the possibility of forming a Credit Union. Council granted permission for a meeting to be called and on the 20th day of November, 1964, the formation meeting of the Credit Union was held.

The then Chairman of the Illawarra County Council, Alderman F Finch, was present, together with the County Clerk, Mr M J Syer. Mr Syer read a letter of congratulations from the Hon. A A Landa, Minister for Co-operatives. At this meeting, the Credit Union Rules, which had previously been drafted, were adopted.

It should be noted that the Aldermen and Officers of the Illawarra County Council had given their full support and assistance to the Credit Union at its inception and continued to contribute to its success. At the formation meeting, Mr Syer had promised payroll deductions for credit union members, and these commenced on the 22nd day of January, 1965.

The first Loans Committee was elected at the January meeting. The first loan was for the sum of $80.00 for the purchase of a vacuum cleaner.

At the February 1965 meeting of the Board of Directors, this Credit Union with its 33 members, became affiliated with the New South Wales Credit Union League, (now known as Cuscal), whose assistance during the years, and particularly in our infancy, has been invaluable.


The Growth of Horizon

The initial rules for the Illawarra County Council Staff Credit Union provided that only employees of the Council could join the Credit Union. This rule remained unchanged until September 1971, when members approved a change allowing family members to join. On the 2nd of September 2019, Horizon Credit Union Ltd began trading as Horizon Bank. The assets at that time were $376m.

However, the most significant membership rule change was that of the transfers of engagements of the following Credit Unions:

Was formed in 1963 as Bega Valley County Council Employees Credit Union Ltd. In 1974 the credit union expanded to cover other local councils and the name was then changed to Bega Valley Credit Union Ltd. The Bega Valley Credit Union Ltd transferred to Illawarra County Council Staff Credit Union Ltd in May 1980. Bega Valley Credit Union had assets of $500,000 and 450 members at the time of transfer. Following the transfer, the name was subsequently changed to ICC Mutual Credit Union Ltd.

Was formed in 1964 and transferred to ICC Mutual Credit Union Ltd in December 1982. The statistics at the time of transfer were as follows: assets $2,675,000, membership 1400. Following the transfer, the name was changed to Southern Counties Credit Union.

Was formed in 1956 and transferred to ICC Mutual Credit Union Ltd in December 1982 at the same time as Wollongong City Council Credit Union. Candelo had assets of $41,000 and their members totalled 180.

Was formed in 1967 and transferred over to Southern Counties Credit Union in May 1983. Their assets were $257,000 and they had 360 members.

Was formed in 1967 and transferred to Southern Counties Credit Union in March 1995. Their assets at that time were around $22 million and their members totalled 5,000. The name of our credit union was changed at that time to Horizon Credit Union Ltd.

Eurobodalla Credit Union was formed in June of 1971 and transferred to Horizon Credit Union on the 1st of May 2009. Their assets at that time were around $3m and they had 684 members.

Lysaght Credit Union was formed in May 1966 and was known at that time as Lysaght Employees (Port Kembla) Credit Union Ltd. 55 years later, members of Lysaght Credit Union Ltd voted to merge with Horizon Bank at a Special General Meeting which resulted in the merger taking effect on April 1, 2021. At the time of the merger Lysaght Credit Union had 2,300 members and assets of $98 million. The merged entity resulted in assets in excess of $560million, over 17,000 customers and 9 branches spanning the Illawarra and South Coast.

Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice

The Customer Owned Banking Code of Practice (COBCOP) is the code of practice for Australia’s credit unions, mutual banks and mutual building societies. This is a code of practice that is in place to support our members. You can view a copy of the Code here. There are key promises in place to ensure we deliver on our pledge to always put our members first. These are:

1. We will deliver banking services in the interests of our customers.
2. We will obey the law.
3. We will not mislead or deceive.
4. We will act honestly and fairly.
5. We will offer products and services that are fit for general purpose.
6. We will deliver services with reasonable care and skill.
7. We will contribute to our community.