Heritage and People’s Choice merger exceeding expectations after first 120 days

At its four-month milestone, Australia’s largest customer-owned bank has exceeded a number of its key performance targets

14 July 2023

At its four-month milestone, Australia’s largest customer-owned bank has exceeded a number of its key performance targets as it moves to create a strong national alternative to the big banks.

Over its first 120 days, Heritage and People’s Choice has surpassed its goals for net member growth (10,844; 48% ahead of target), net lending growth ($534.9 million; 122% ahead) and net deposit growth ($435.8 million; 64.7% ahead).

“This is significant because the goals we set ourselves were not easy ones – they were deliberately challenging,” said CEO, Peter Lock.

“In our planning ahead of the merger, a tremendous amount of work was done to ensure that our core business of supporting our members would not be affected, and I’m very proud to say that we’ve clearly achieved that by continuing to provide great products and services.

“Member growth means we’re offering Australians a compelling choice for their banking, and we’re confident that will only accelerate as we put in place more of the improvements we have planned,” he said.

Heritage and People’s Choice was created on 1 March, when Heritage Bank and People’s Choice Credit Union merged to create one of Australia’s Top 10 largest banks with 720,000 members, 1,900 employees, more than $23 billion in assets and branches across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The merged entity commenced trading under the existing brand names of Heritage Bank and People’s Choice for an interim period of approximately 12 months. A new brand name that reflects its status as a genuine alternative to the listed banks for all Australians is on track to be unveiled next year.

In the lead-up to the merger, the new organisation’s first 120 days were identified as a crucial period in bringing together both people and processes. An extensive range of activities and goals were put in place for this critical four-month window, with the organisation carefully monitoring progress.

“Obviously, metrics such as member growth and loan growth are critical but they only tell part of the story,” Mr Lock said.

“While we’ve maintained an absolute focus on our members and their needs, we’ve simultaneously been carrying out the hard, detailed work of turning two organisations into one and realising the benefits which drove the merger in the first place.”




In its first 120 days, Heritage and People’s Choice has:

  • Delivered on many merger commitments, including aligning Saturday trading at selected branches, removing certain fees and charges, and honouring the commitment to remaining 100% member owned with equal Board and Executive representation.
  • Created its integration roadmap for a simpler, modern IT stack which can grow with the business.
  • Progressed the development of a unique and uniting brand to be launched next year.
  • Confirmed the building of a new co-head office building in Toowoomba, to complement the Adelaide co-head office.
  • Put in place a number of member-focused innovations like a fast refinancing option for home loans and priority call-centre support relating to scams and fraud.
  • Fostered a strong employee culture, supported by rapid adoption of the online Shine values-based recognition program.
  • Progressed the $50 million/five-year commitment to community investment by expanding its Charity Foundation, Community Lottery and Photographic Awards, among other activities.

“This has been an outstanding team effort,” Mr Lock said. “I want to thank everyone across Heritage and People’s Choice for their hard work, focus and support. I also thank our members for their continued loyalty and for providing great feedback on how we can improve.”

“We should all be very proud of the progress we’ve made, but this is just the beginning.

“We have a clear vision to build a bank that offers a strong national alternative for Australians. A bank that stands for the right things, that is known for doing good, and that Australia is proud of.”

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