23 September 2022
Heritage Bank and People’s Choice Credit Union have received the regulatory approvals needed to move onto the next stage of their plan to merge and create a positive new national force in the Australian banking sector.
The Federal Treasurer Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP has given his approval, meaning both organisations will now take the merger proposal to a vote of their respective members on 16 November 2022.
In announcing his decision, the Treasurer said the merger proposal was “expected to support competition and innovation in the banking sector by allowing these customer owned banks to better compete with the larger players and deliver higher quality products and services to members.”
He said his decision followed a thorough assessment of whether the proposed merger was in Australia’s national interest. This included consideration of stability, efficiency and the need for a financial system that is competitive and benefits Australian households, businesses, and communities.
Heritage CEO, Peter Lock said, “We are very pleased to have received the necessary regulatory approvals, including from the Federal Treasurer, which means our members will now have the chance to vote on this very important step in creating a new national mutual.
“People’s Choice are the perfect fit for us. This a unique pairing of two similar sized institutions that are incredibly aligned in culture and values, centred around our members, our communities, and our people. In every way this is a true merger of equals.
“Our members are our owners, and we only exist to serve them and their communities. It’s important that they cast their vote and have their say.
“We believe the merger will deliver significant benefits to members, and strengthen our ability to keep delivering member services that are the cornerstone of the customer-owned banking model.
“The merger is absolutely in the best interests of members.”
Detailed information about the proposed merger will be made available to members in October.
The new organisation is expected to be established in March 2023, should members vote in favour of the merger.
More details about the proposed merger are available here.