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Staff profile: Gavin Earle – NZCU Baywide CEO

August 5th, 2011 -

Gavin heads up NZCU Baywide, the largest Credit Union in NZ with around $180M in assets, 30,000 member-owners, 14 branches, and 120 staff.

With over 22 years’ service at NZCU Baywide, Gavin has helped lead the organisation from its humble beginnings at Whakatu Freezing Works to New Zealand’s largest Credit Union.

When Gavin joined the team in 1988 as Assistant General Manager, little did he know that it was the start of a long term relationship and passion for the credit union and its unique financial offering to its member-owners.

“At Baywide it isn’t all about profit; it’s all about our members, who are also our owners. The focus is on getting to know our members, understanding their needs and tailoring easy solutions that help them improve their financial position. So I’m lucky to have such a fantastic job and get a real sense of achievement every day. The credit union values of helping people is very infectious, it gets in your blood!”

This credit union difference was highlighted in a recent article in Consumer magazine (http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/credit-unions).

As a parochial kiwi, Gavin is also very proud of NZCU Baywide’s 100% local ownership,

“All members’ funds are retained in New Zealand and within each of the communities we serve, and our branches are very proud of this fact.”

During his time working at Baywide, Gavin has been involved at various levels across the credit union industry in NZ and has gained a wide respect for his contribution at national level. Gavin’s experience of Credit Unions is not limited to New Zealand. He has visited Credit Unions across Australia and the US, and during 2003-07, Gavin won a full scholarship to study at Texas Christian University, where he was awarded honours in the Diploma of Credit Union Management.

“This qualification is aimed at developing Chief Executives in the US, specifically for the Credit Union movement. It was a wonderful opportunity to gain a closer insight into the wider strategic and leadership requirements of leading a successful credit union. At the same time I’ve developed a wider network of colleagues with whom I regularly exchange and share ideas.”

Under Gavin’s leadership, NZCU Baywide has expanded rapidly, almost doubling in size in the past four years.

“I’m so proud of my team, they are a wonderful bunch of people. Every day they work hard to look after our members needs, delivering the down-to-earth, easy banking experience that we have become famous for.”

Recent independent research by international market intelligence company Brandmanagement Group showed Credit Unions outperformed banks in customer service.

While NZCU Baywide has expanded, it’s fair to say that work for Gavin is a bit busier than those early days at Whakatu.  But one thing has not changed – his door is always open.

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