New era dawns in Australian banking as Heritage Bank and People’s Choice Credit Union officially merge

A new era in the Australian banking sector has arrived, with Heritage Bank and People’s Choice Credit Union officially merging on 1 March 2023.

1 March 2023

A new era in the Australian banking sector has arrived, with Heritage Bank and People’s Choice Credit Union officially merging today (Wednesday, 1 March 2023) to create a new national mutual that offers a compelling alternative to the big banks. 

The merged entity becomes Australia’s leading customer-owned financial institution, with 720,000 members, 1,900 employees, more than $23 billion in assets and 95 branches across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory. 

Chairman Michael Cameron said the merged organisation would build its success on the shared purpose that Heritage and People’s Choice brought with them.

“We move forward from today maintaining our total commitment to helping members reach their financial goals and life aspirations,” Mr Cameron said. 

“The transition to one organisation has been made much smoother because we already share remarkably similar cultures, values and strategic goals,” said Mr Cameron. 

“This is an exciting opportunity for all of us – our members, our employees, and our communities – to be part of creating something special in the Australian banking sector.”

Chief Executive Peter Lock said the merger was a milestone moment for the Australian banking sector.

“We’ve brought together two of Australia’s most successful customer-owned financial institutions to create a strong national mutual alternative to the big banks,” Mr Lock said.

“The reality is Australians only have two choices when it comes to banking – they can go with a listed bank, which has profit maximisation as its top priority, or they can go for a customer-owned bank, which is solely focused on meeting the needs of its members.”

The new entity will continue trading under the existing brand names of Heritage Bank and People’s Choice for an interim period of approximately 12 months.

After that, a fresh brand name will reflect its status as a genuine alternative to the listed banks for all Australians. 

“This merger establishes a new force in the mutual sector which will reset the way Australians think about banking and help propel the customer-owned model onto the radar of banking consumers around the country,” said Mr Lock.

“Combining the best of both organisations enables us to build on our individual strengths while having greater size and scale to deliver more for members and communities,” Mr Lock added. 

“That includes enhanced products, services, digital capabilities and competitive pricing, while also increasing support for community and environmental initiatives.”

The merged entity will continue to provide local knowledge, employment and investment by maintaining dual head offices in Toowoomba and Adelaide. 

The Board of the merged organisation will comprise an equal number of directors from People’s Choice and Heritage. 

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