Australian customer-owned banking organisations Heritage Bank and People’s Choice Credit Union have confirmed that they have started merger discussions.

The two entities signed a non-binding agreement to conduct a due diligence process to assess the benefits of the merger.

If the banks elect to advance, the proposed merger will require a green light from members to move ahead. The vote will be held early next year.

Heritage Bank and People’s Choice merger: Potential benefits

Heritage has 320,000 members with nearly A$11.9bn in total assets. On the other hand, People’s Choice is Australia’s largest credit union with 390,000 members. It has around A$9.9bn in total assets.

The merger will create one of the largest customer-owned banking organisations with around 700,000 members and A$22bn in total assets.

The combined entity will have more than 90 branches and employ around 1,700 employees.

In a joint statement, Heritage Bank and People’s Choice said that there will be no branch closures or non-executive job cuts due to the merger.

The two entities will have equal representation at the combined board. The current head offices at Toowoomba and Adelaide will also be retained.


People’s Choice chairman Michael Cameron said: “Heritage and People’s Choice have been in discussions for several months. We recognise that we are both strong businesses, with approximately the same number of members, employees and assets so if a merger proceeds it would be a true merger of equals.”

Heritage Chairman Kerry Betros said, “Our members’ interests will be the most important consideration in any decision to merge and they will have the final say in any potential merger.”