The Mutual 130 Years

Serving the region and our members for 130 years is a wonderful milestone and one that we at The Mutual are all very proud to have achieved. Since The Mutual was founded in 1888, our commitment to our members has never waved, pushing through even the toughest of times — the Great Depression, two World Wars, soaring interest rates, and of course, the 1955 Flood.

The Mutual today offers an extensive range of financial products that are helping families own their dream homes, enabling local businesses to grow, and teaching our youngest members about the importance of financial literacy through our Bank at School program. They are the reason we open our doors.

While we are extremely proud of our achievements, we recognise that our success is dependent on the continued support of our members and our community. We would like to acknowledge your contribution in making us what we are today and simply say — thank you.


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  The start of The Mutual: 1888 to 1913


The rules of the Society having been adopted, the next business of the meeting of shareholders on 22 October 1888 was the election of officers.

1888 to 1910

Mr Harry Capper served as Chairman of the Society from its very inception. His 22 years of devoted service had seen the fledgling Society weather flood, depression and the financial disasters of the 1890’s. By the time of his retirement the Society had consolidated itself into an important commercial institution within the district.

1888 to 1924

Mr Frederick Thursby was in partnership with his father in a drapery business at West Maitland. He served as an Alderman of West Maitland Council for 20 years. In 1911 he served a term as Mayor of West Maitland.


The Society advanced funds in 1892 to Mrs Kerr to purchase a home in Kensington Road Bolwarra. This home was typical of the homes in the area.


The Society’s first business premises, an upstairs office at Scobies Chambers in High Street West Maitland.


The Society moved its office to the ground floor of 4 High Street Maitland and remained there until 1927.

1910 to 1911

Mr Thomas Dimmock was an original Board member. Declining health and the demands of his own business were making it difficult for him to devote sufficient time to the affairs of the Society which led to his resignation.

  The World Wars: 1914 - 1945

1914 - 1918 (WW1)

Director, Mr William McLauchlin suggested that the Society should wait and see what effect the war may have on its lending policy. Whilst the war may have been remote, repercussions were soon felt in Maitland.


As advertising in the Maitland Mercury had increased, it was decided a more visual impact would be adopted with a drawing of a cottage incorporated with wording for the first time.

1919 - 1955

Mr Logan was Chairman of the Society for 36 years. These were difficult years for a locally based commercial enterprise. Between 1914 and 1940 the population of Maitland increased by only 8% from 11,850 to 12,820.

1924 - 1953

Following Mr Frederick Thursbys death, his son William succeeded to the office of Secretary/Manager a position he was to hold for the next 29 years. This period was a difficult one, encompassing the Great Depression and World War II.

1929 - 1932 (Great Depression)

"Despite the extreme financial strain that members were under, there were very few applications for extensions of time” — Extract from board minutes.

1939 - 1945 (WW2)

"because of threatened air raids, consideration should be given to safeguarding the Society's financial records” — Extract from board minutes.

  100th Anniversary: 1946 - 1988

1953 - 1967

Mr Albert Finney had recently retired from Caledonian Colleries Ltd and commenced his duties as Secretary/Manager soon after. During Mr Finney’s term Maitland was to experience its most devastating flood, the 1955 flood.

1955 - 1964

Mr James McLaughlin became Chairman of the Society in 1955. It was his task to guide the Society through the aftermath of the 1955 flood and the dilemma of Maitland’s future.

1955 (Maitland Floods)

"should members need extra financial assistance to rehabilitate themselves, every effort should be made to meet their requirements"

— Extract from board minutes

1964 - 1972

As the most senior and experienced Board member, Mr Les Kearns was elected Chairman on 15th September 1964. Residential development out of flood reach was encouraged. Residential subdivisions at Rutherford and East Maitland had recently commenced.

1968 - 1982

Following a period as manager of an accountancy practice in Maitland Mr Tomkins was appointed Secretary/Manager to the Society in January 1968. Mr Tomkins term at the Society heralded a period of substantial growth.

1972 - 1979

Mr Frederick Fahey, a successful newsagent and businessman, had a distinguished career in local government, with three terms as Mayor of Maitland in 1945, 1949 and 1954.


The Society produced its first brochure detailing general and formal terms of the advantages of membership with the Society.


The Society's first presence in East Maitland when it opened its branch in Lawes Street.

1983 - 1983

Mr Allan Bramham was the Society's Secretary/Manager for a short period of time.


The Society moved to its current Head Office at 417 High Street Maitland. It was said at the time that Number 417 in the Heritage Mall is in the heart of Maitland’s commercial centre.


Plaque unveiling to commemorate the Society's 100th anniversary in October 1988.

  The start of the Internet age: 1979 - 2004


A devoted and loyal Chairman Mr Harold Mayo was passionate in his endeavours to ensure that The Society would not only survive, but prosper. Mr Mayo oversaw the introduction of electronic banking. Mr Mayo has been successful in many facets of his life, including business and sport.

1983 - 1994

Mr Colin Smith took up his duties as Secretary/Manager of the Society in July 1983. Under Mr Smith’s direction the Society underwent two major changes. In May 1985 the Society implemented its first computer system and in 1986 the Society moved to its current Head Office at 417 High Street Maitland.


The first ATM installation was at Branxton. By 2013 the number would grow to 17 owned ATMs.


The introduction of the Express ATM Card was promoted by branch staff.


Maitland Mutual Building Society and Maitland City Council Employees' Credit Union merge.


Internet Banking was launched and brochures were created to promote the event.

  Expansion and growth: 2005 - 2012


School banking commences as well as The Mutual's involvement with the Financial Literacy program.


The Mutual’s Visa Card was introduced giving members access to their money anywhere, anytime, including ATMs, EFTPOS, online purchases, over the phone and overseas.


The Global Financial Crisis hit the world’s financial markets. The Mutual was not immune to the impact of this event.“Given the difficult economic and operating conditions over the past year, the Board considers that the results have been more than satisfactory” an extract from the 2008 Annual Report - Chairman Harold Mayo.


The Mutual and Phoenix Credit Union merge.


The Mutual opens its modern design member friendly Glendale branch.

  The Mobile Age: 2013 and beyond

1994 - present

Mr Geoffrey Seccombe has overseen many changes within the organisation in his time at The Mutual. The most significant being the introduction of automated and electronic payment systems, offering personal loans, gaining Authorised Trustee Investment status, and expanding The Mutual’s footprint outside the local area. Mr Seccombe is an active member in the Maitland Community.

2009 - 2014

Mr John Lane was involved in business and sport in the Maitland Community for many years. His family owned menswear business remains a successful business and is still operating in the Maitland CBD. Mr Lane continued to enhance The Mutual’s product range and promote The Mutual’s competitiveness and member focus during his term.


"The Mutual App is here!" Smartphones exploded into the world and into everyone's pockets. The Mutual App, gave our members the freedom to bank-on-the-go anytime, anywhere.

2014 - Present

Mr Trevor Robinson joined the Board in 2010 and was appointed its Chairman in June 2014. Mr Robinson now retired is a qualified solicitor who specialised in banking and financial services. Mr Robinson has been instrumental in establishing a platform for the next stage of The Mutual’s evolution which includes a new Head Office location with the capacity to cater for the continued growth of The Mutual for many years to come.


6 Mitchell Drive, East Maitland - land purchased for future head office building.


The Mutual was one of the first financial institutions to introduce Osko into its services.