In 1973 a group of Cairns Regional Electricity Board employees had a vision - to combine their financial resources for the benefit of their fellow workmates.
That vision soon became a reality with the establishment of the C.R.E.B. Credit Union Ltd (C.R.E.B.), now ECU Australia Ltd (trading as ECU). Initially, the Credit Union serviced Members with a skeleton staff of employees of C.R.E.B. who volunteered their time to ensure their Credit Union thrived for the benefit of electricity industry employees and their families.
As the Credit Union grew, full-time management and staff became necessary with the first full-time staff member being employed in November 1976. The Credit Union's first office was provided through the generosity of the Far North Queensland Electricity Board in allocating an area on their first floor in the Head Office building at 109 Lake Street, Cairns. As the philosophy and concept of the Credit Union became more widely known, membership increased into other Regional Electricity Boards throughout Queensland. In March 1979 the Credit Union began providing services to employees and their families at the North Queensland Electricity Board, and to the employees in the northern region of the Queensland Electricity Generating Board. Over the next eleven years the Credit Union continued to grow to include operations at the Mackay Electricity Board (1979), Capricornia Electricity Board (1980), Wide Bay-Burnett Electricity Board (1985), South West Queensland Electricity Board (1986) and South East Coast Queensland Electricity Board (1990).
The Power People Credit Union (PPCU) had been formed in March 1981 to service the employees of the Queensland Electricity Generating Board (QEGB) and their families. May 1990 saw PPCU and ECU merge to provide one Statewide Credit Union which enabled ECU Australia to service the employees and their families throughout the Queensland Electricity Supply Industry.
Another major development occurred in October 1997 when the Constitution of ECU was amended enabling any person who uses electricity to become a Member of ECU. Carefully planned and steady growth since that time has built a stable financial institution which has not lost sight of its ideals - Members financially helping other Members.
ECU is still providing competitive finance and a whole range of other benefits for its Members. There have been many changes to the way financial institutions operate over the years, with an increasing focus on profitability margins and costs. Despite these changes, we have never lost sight of the most important aspect of our organisation... our Members.