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Four credit unions vote through merger

Four of New Zealand's major credit unions have voted 'yes' to a nationwide merger — but one party has dropped out of the deal. 

Tuesday, March 19th 2019, 2:51PM

NZCU South, NZCU Central, Aotearoa Credit Union, and NZCU Baywide voted in favour of a deal last week. A total of 97% of credit union members present voted in favour of the deal, the parties said in a joint statement. The deal was struck to "create a competitive alternative to mainstream banking", the quartet said.

However, one credit union, NZCU Steelsands, comprising 3,600 members, voted against the deal to remain independent and did not take part in the vote. It will continue to operate as normal, while the four merged unions will be collectively branded NZCU Baywide. 

The four merged parties will conduct a joint review of future strategy. It will have $560 million in assets and serve 64,000 members. The business will continue to be focused on home loans, personal loans, savings and investments.

The credit unions already operate under the same computer system, and will officially merge on May 1.

It comes as the unions attempt to take a bigger slice of the alternative lender market through collective marketing resources and greater firepower. Interim CEO Gavin Earle previously told TMM the merger represents an "exciting tier 2 opportunity".

Iain Taylor, chair of NZCU Baywide, (pictured), said: “This is the stepping stone to bigger things for the credit union sector. Together, we have, and will continue to focus on growing and maintaining our membership by providing highly relevant and competitive financial products and outstanding customer service.”

Gavin Earle, NZCU interim CEO, added: "Last week’s membership voting has cemented our belief in the cooperative and credit union sector. I am personally very excited about harnessing the great things we have all been delivering. Like many, I am drawing inspiration from this to continue our collective growth path into the future.”

 

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