Bankwest is an Australian banking institution that provides banking services to all Australians equally. This bank is a relatively old institution. It has been in operation for over a hundred years building a reputation of community involvement and support that exudes compassion and benevolence. They do this by supporting many charitable projects and organizations in addition to a number of banking services such as Some of those being retail, business, institutional, investing funds management, "superannuation, insurance and investment and share broking" (Bankwest About 2011).
Bankwest was founded in 1895. At that time it was the Agriculture Bank of Western Australia. The government in Australia designed the bank to build up the farm production industry (Bankwest History 2011).
Several years later in 1945, the bank started trading on the stock exchange on experienced growth on the western area of Australia. Eventually becoming an industry leader in the market (Bankwest History 2011).
Nearly 50 years later the bank changed its name to Bankwest to reflect its regional area of influence and commitment of services. The bank was purchased by another conglomerate the Bank of Scotland. As of the new a few more acquisitions occurred with the result being a total merging of Bankwest into the organization of the Commonwealth Bank Group to provide a wealth of banking services.
The brand of Bankwest is its drive to deliver Happy Banking to its members and the communities where it has branches and other affiliations. Bankwest builds its brand by offering award winning services. There are several awards that have been presented by Money Magazine over the past five years for the best products. For example Bankwest has received Gold Medals in the area of credit cards and transaction accounts. The best online transaction account, the best offline transaction account, other winners were Kids savings account, transaction credit card and least expensive credit cards for 2010 (Bankwest Media 2009).
The online transaction account offers no fees with free access at " Bankwest, CBA, ANZ, NAB and Westpac ATMs across Australia" (Bankwest Media 2009).
In addition the transaction account service offers no limit to the number of electronic access. The members also enjoy no maintenance fees and the option of a free checkbook and Debit Master Cards (Bankwest Media 2009).
The Kids Saver account offers the highest savings rate in the country of Australia and no account fees. The minimum balance is a low $25-$250 per month for kids under fifteen years old (Bankwest Media 2009).
Yet another brand building service that has won a Gold medal for Bankwest is Lite MasterCard that has a very low interest rate. It is only 5.99% for a full twelve months and includes any balance transfers (Bankwest Media 2009). Some of the other great options of this service are three free cards for family or other members on a single account and a purchase rate of only 10.75% (Bankwest Media 2009).
Marketing for Bankwest is mainly through a number of community service projects such as:
Telethon: A charitable dedicated to raising funds to help children and young people that are living with some kind of incapacity in Australia, especially in the west.
The West Australian Ballet: A ballet company that has dancers from all over the world. This kind of institution helps young women stay out of trouble by providing them an outlet to explore their passion for dancing (Bankwest community 2011).
Performing Arts Perspectives: Bankwest is dedicated and active to promote and support opportunities to showcase Western Australian young and adult talent. Whether it is about painting or music, all artists have the chance to perform, improve and learn hundreds of new things in a Performing Arts program (Bankwest community 2011). Bankwest provides financial support by keeping the programs affordable for members of the community.
As a marketing avenue it is very clear, BankWest is a bank dedicated to providing help to those that need it. People are more apt to trust their money to BankWest knowing that they are indirectly helping hundreds of young men and women, as well as children. The slogan for the Bank is "Happy Banking." Giving the connotation that Bankwest is designed to increase happiness in the communities and the lives of its members (Bankwest community 2011).
Bankwest is an institution that has gained a lot of experience and knowledge about the areas where they are located and the impact that they have in these vicinities. Western Australia is the main region that Bankwest covers, and the company has managed to find the way to capture western Australian's target markets. Bankwest, as all other banks, have an number of strategies and processes that enhance their fame and productivity. However, each bank has its pros and cons. Bankwest is not the exception. Although they are very good in certain areas especially in community relations, there are areas where improvement may be needed.
Pros: When it comes to the bank's strategies there are some things that should really be mentioned. The bank has a very intelligent marketing strategy. It is based on asking members to assist the bank, in helping other people that need it. Bankwest is linked to many charity programs such as the Telethon. This calls people's attention, the culture in Australian is very accepting of benevolent opportunities. This is one of the reasons why people like to keep their money in Bankwest. This strategy is great, as it benefits both the bank and other people.
Cons: The bank is very people oriented and centered around relationships. It is easy to see that their programs are all about helping those that really need it. However, there are certain things that a bank should regulate, like having the excellent lending services. Bankwest looks to have some issues in this aspect that were highlighted in 2003.
The banking division attempted to expand into some of the eastern states where they were not currently active in pursuing greater market share before their competitors. However there was poor planning and many loans were extended without the proper reviews and checks into the ability of the recipients to pay them back (Feneley 2010). The clients they loaned funds to were bad credit risks which the banking competition realized and were wise in steering clear of. Soon the number of debts associated with bad credit lending begin to drain profits from Bankwest. Some of the companies that contributed to this problem were Daswani Group, Selwyn Mines, and also Pasminco (IntelligentInvestor.com 2011). Private sector lending was a problem area for Bankwest. In addition the management begin to lash out at the media, creating a media backlash from the Financial Review. This resulted in bad publicity that hurt the bank (IntelligentInvestor.com 2011).
When it comes to choosing a bank, it is very important to take care of five main aspects. These are known as the 5C's. Listed you will find BankWest's 5 C's.
Company: the main focus of Bankwest is to help those that really need it and also provide an exceptional banking service. Although it has its flaws, comments about it are mostly very positive. When Bankwest sticks with its competitive advantage understanding the banking needs of Western Australia, they excel. The company has a reputation of building community and member relationships. They are open to collaborating with local businesses, educators, youth groups, and charitable organizations (Daemon Group 2011).
Customers: BankWest mainly provides banking services to businesses and individual of all kinds. However they are more oriented to providing personalized help to Western Australians. They are known because of their generous activities like providing funds for Telethon and other movements. Again the bank understands its target market and should focus on meeting the needs and requirements as well as expanding the number of services within this market segment.
Collaborators: BankWest is very open to collaborating with the community. There are hundreds of programs in which Bankwest has provided help. These programs are normally about sports, arts, community and business awards and indigenous affairs. These are all very generous programs in which Bankwest participates. Bankwest's vision is all about happiness and generosity. Another competitive advantage of Bankwest that the competition does not have is its ability to build relationships with the community and local businesses (Daemon Group 2011). It is very uncommon to find such good will in the banking industry.
Competitors: Bankwest has many competitors today, among them Westpac, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, and the National Australia Bank (Daemon Group 2011). These banks have over 85% of the market. Yet none of the competitors have the reputation of benevolence to the community that Bankwest enjoys. Though they may have better services, the ability to give peace and satisfaction to the customer in areas of service and long-term stability are not evident.
Context: Bankwest's context is the West area of Australia. They have been a part of this region for over 100 years and have taken the time to understand the needs of the people through surveys and multiple community projects. They have strong ties with the…