BSB 806 015

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BSB 806 015

bcu Merger FAQS

Frequently asked questions

  • Who is bcu?

    bcu is a highly successful northern NSW based credit union, with 21 branches, a loyal member base of 57,000 people, 200 staff and $1.7 billion in assets. 

    Whilst half the size of P&N Bank, bcu share the same member-owned model, member first ethos and community focus as P&N. Like us, they also have a clear appetite to grow so that they can improve the products and services they provide to their members.

    bcu has a strong and positive brand presence in their region and a different distribution footprint to P&N Bank. They operate and serve members in NSW and Queensland, while P&N operates in Western Australia.

  • Why do we need to merge?

    Banking has changed dramatically in recent years with technological advances, increased regulation, and emerging competitors and business models. These changes bring with them increased customer expectations and investment spend, and we need to grow our organisation to ensure that we remain relevant and sustainable. Put simply, additional size and scale will place us in a much better position to compete.

    Consolidation of the customer-owned banking industry will continue to occur with or without us, and in an increasingly digital world, state boundaries are less relevant than they used to be. 

    P&N Bank has been investigating options for potential partnerships for some time to strengthen our core business and expand our presence. 

    Our industry is facing many challenges, including rising costs, decreasing margins and an increase in required investments in technology and compliance. A partnership with bcu would pave the way for a stronger organisation for both sets of members. 

    If this merger is approved, we will retain all the attributes that our members love about P&N Bank - our brand, our people, our branch network and our new WA based Head Office in the heart of the Perth CBD will remain. Together we will be a stronger banking organisation on behalf of our current and future members.

    Both the P&N Bank and bcu Boards are supportive of this merger proceeding.

  • What's in it for members?

    Should the merger be approved, we have concluded that the integration of both organisations will deliver tangible financial and non-financial benefits back to our members.

  • Will the P&N Bank brand stay the same?

    Yes. Our commitment to WA and the brand attributes many of our members love will remain. There will be no change to the P&N Bank brand name nor customer-owned banking model.

    The Head Office of the combined entity will remain in Perth, at our brand-new Kings Square building in the Perth CBD. 

    P&N Bank branches and Contact Centre will remain as they currently are. The way that you bank with us will not change. Furthermore, the Chair and the CEO of the merged entity will remain Perth based.

  • Will P&N Bank still be customer owned?

    Yes, we are fully committed to our customer-owned model. It is one of P&N Bank's core differences that makes us a genuine alternative to the major banks.  

  • Who is the larger organisation in this transaction?

    P&N Bank is approximately twice the size of bcu. Combined, we will be amongst the strongest customer-owned banks in Australia. As well as being a larger, stronger entity, a merger will allow both P&N and bcu the opportunity to adopt the strongest aspects of each other’s business models to ensure stability and growth in new markets.

  • Will we get payment or a dividend?

    No, this is not a demutualisation and our customer-owned banking model will not change. Each member will continue to hold one share. 

  • Will we lose the ability to be agile?

    No. Should a merger proceed, we would be a stronger organisation with greater resources and have greater agility in responding to market conditions and member needs. And whilst larger than we are now, we would remain a small locally based bank that focuses on its customers.

  • Won't you be taken over if you get too big?

    It would be difficult for a listed institution to takeover a customer-owned financial institution and we will continue to promote and protect the benefit of being customer-owned.

    We genuinely believe that we can deliver better products and services to our members if we are able to build some much-needed scale and efficiency into our bank.

  • Won't control move to the East Coast over time?

    No. As the larger brand, P&N Bank will retain its Perth CBD Head Office (at our new CBD premises in Kings Square) and our staff based in Western Australia. In time, we would expect to continue to grow the employment opportunities for West Australians whilst also expanding our presence on the east coast to service bcu members and their communities.

  • Will the cost of services be increased?

    No. The purpose of the merger is to drive economies of scale that will ultimately benefit our members.

  • What was the Due Diligence process all about?

    Both organisations had the opportunity to conduct a review of each other's business, to understand the operations and identify any risks, synergies and opportunities. P&N Bank also used external advisers to provide independent expertise in managing this process thoroughly.

    After the positive Due Diligence process, our Board have endorsed the findings and support moving to the next stage in the merger process.

  • So, what are the next steps?

    You, our members, are always our most important priority and we look forward to answering your questions both now and at any time during this merger process.

    Over the next few months, while the regulatory approvals process takes place with APRA and other regulators, we will provide more specific information when available as well as further opportunities for you to ask questions and learn more about the merger process.

    Following APRA’s decision, we are planning to release a comprehensive member information booklet including a full list of member benefits. This booklet also requires APRA’s approval prior to distribution which is expected in the third quarter of this year.

    A member vote would then follow.

    In summary, if APRA approves the merger, and with both P&N Bank and bcu member support, we envisage both entities would merge late in 2019 with bcu coming onto our core banking platform later in 2020.

    It’s important for members to understand that all timings rely on regulatory approval and are subject to change.

  • When will members have the chance to vote?

    Depending on the time the regulatory approvals process takes and after the appropriate approvals from APRA have been received, members can expect to receive a member information booklet sometime after August 2019, ahead of a vote.

  • As the merger approvals process takes place, will I be able to continue operating my accounts the same way in the meantime?

    Yes. Your banking relationship and banking with P&N Bank will not change. Our local Contact Centre, branches and digital services will remain the same and we will continue to focus on delivering the excellent service that our members expect.

  • What about the Government Guarantee, if I have funds with both organisations?

    If the merger is approved, P&N Bank and bcu would operate as one Authorised Deposit Taking Institution (ADI) and therefore the Government Guarantee covering up to $250,000 per customer per ADI would apply to the total amount of funds held with the combined ADI (P&N and bcu). 

  • Where can I get more information?

    As soon as we have additional information, we will share it with you.

    In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns you can email us at [email protected], call our Contact Centre on 13 25 77 or visit one of our branches.

  • Do the staff support this merger?

    Yes. Partnering for growth has been a long held strategic priority for P&N Bank. Our staff are highly supportive of this merger with strong positive endorsement received from a recent staff survey.

  • Will there be forced redundancies?

    No, there will be no forced redundancies as a result of this merger and we have openly communicated this to all staff.

    Similarly, there will be no branch closures because of the merger.

For more information, read Andrew's letter: Stronger together - an important opportunity for P&N.

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