Creating one of Australia’s leading customer-owned banks

In August 2021, we announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Greater Bank to explore merging our two locally-grown organisations to create one of Australia’s leading customer-owned banks.

Our Boards have since spent considerable time examining the member and commercial benefits of merging, and are unanimously in favour of proceeding.

Chair of Newcastle Permanent, Jeff Eather and Chair of Greater Bank, Wayne Russell have now formalised the Boards’ endorsement by signing a Merger Implementation Agreement (MIA).

Chair of Greater Bank, Wayne Russell and Chair of Newcastle Permanent, Jeff Eather

In bringing our organisations together, this is our commitment to you


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We will remain 100% customer-owned and, with no shareholders to consider, will continue to invest profits for the benefit of our customers and local communities.


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We will keep both iconic brands, Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank, meaning there’ll be no change to your bank accounts or banking details following the merger.


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The current number of combined branches will be retained for at least two years.


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Our workforces will come together and there will be no forced redundancies as a result of the merger for at least two years.



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We will continue to support our local communities by maintaining or growing the $4.5 million invested each year by Greater Bank, Newcastle Permanent and our respective charitable foundations.


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Our customer contact centres and headquarters will continue to be based in the Hunter, as they always have.

The merger proposal will now be submitted to regulators for review before being put to Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank members.

Eligibility to vote on the merger proposal is determined in accordance with our Constitution and is the same criteria used to determine voting eligibility at our AGM each year.

A member will be eligible to vote if they are over 18 and held a minimum of $500 on deposit with Newcastle Permanent continuously for a period of at least 90 days ending on the last preceding 30 June prior to the member meeting.

We are currently planning to hold member meetings later this year, meaning eligibility to vote will be determined based on the amounts held on deposit with Newcastle Permanent between 2 April and 30 June 2022 (inclusive of both dates).

See Greater Bank’s voting eligibility information here.

The following leadership structure is proposed for the merged organisation:

  • Chair: Wayne Russell (current Chairman of Greater Bank)
  • Deputy Chair: Jeff Eather (current Chair of Newcastle Permanent)
  • CEO: Bernadette Inglis (current CEO of Newcastle Permanent)
  • Deputy CEO: Scott Morgan (current CEO of Greater Bank).

Am I eligible to vote?

Eligibility to vote on the merger proposal is determined in accordance with our Constitution and is the same criteria used to determine voting eligibility at our AGM each year.

A member will be eligible to vote if they are over 18 and held a minimum of $500 on deposit with Newcastle Permanent continuously for a period of at least 90 days ending on the last preceding 30 June prior to the member meeting.

We are currently planning to hold member meetings later this year, meaning eligibility to vote will be determined based on the amounts held on deposit with Newcastle Permanent between 2 April and 30 June 2022 (inclusive of both dates).

See Greater Bank’s voting eligibility information here.

What does this mean for me?

For now, this means no change at all for you as a customer. We’re still in the very early stages of the process.

Should the merger proceed, you’ll still be a customer of Newcastle Permanent and continue to enjoy the great products and friendly service we’re known for.

In fact, the reason we’re so excited is we believe a merger will help us serve you even better.

Security advice

We will never contact you for your personal details. The proposed merger won't require you to change any of your account details or to provide those details to anyone who contacts you. See our security advice for ways to keep your personal information safe from fraud.

FAQs

 

After entering into a Memorandum of Understanding and completing extensive due diligence, both Boards have unanimously determined this proposed merger is in the best interests of our customers and our businesses.

We’ll now progress to regulatory review before the final decision will be made by our members. We anticipate putting the merger proposal to our members at meetings later this year.

Eligibility to vote on the merger proposal is determined in accordance with our Constitution and is the same criteria used to determine voting eligibility at our AGM each year.

A member will be eligible to vote if they are over 18 and held a minimum of $500 on deposit with Newcastle Permanent continuously for a period of at least 90 days ending on the last preceding 30 June prior to the member meeting.

We are currently planning to hold member meetings later this year, meaning eligibility to vote will be determined based on the amounts held on deposit with Newcastle Permanent between 2 April and 30 June 2022 (inclusive of both dates).

See Greater Bank’s voting eligibility information here.

Both Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank brands will be retained following the merger, and for a period of at least two years the current number of combined branches will be retained.

A key goal of the merger is to create new opportunities to grow our combined business, expand our presence and enrich our offering to customers. This will in turn provide our talented employees with new growth and development opportunities, and strengthen the merged organisation’s position as an employer of choice in the region.

A key goal of the merger is to create new opportunities to grow our combined business, expand our presence and enrich our offering to customers. This will in turn enable us to be a vibrant employer of choice and provide our people with new growth and development opportunities.

We will have more than 1,600 employees on merging, and have committed that there will be no forced redundancies as a result of the merger for a period of at least two years.

Both brands will continue to operate and provide the exceptional customer service that they do today. Each will continue to grow and support more customers.

The merger will support both brands to be highly competitive in the market. Customers will always have the right to select the product that best suits their needs.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a formal agreement between parties. It’s a preliminary written agreement outlining what the parties have negotiated to date, including common goals and responsibilities, and a commitment to investigate certain matters – such as the commercial and customer benefits of a merger in this case.

Due diligence is a review of a business undertaken by a prospective partner to establish where there are areas of opportunity and strength, and where there might be risks, and evaluate the commercial and customer benefits that may be obtained from a transaction.

In this instance, the information collected during due diligence will be used to determine if the proposed merger is in the best interests of the members of both Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank, as well to support the future planning of the combined entity.

 

A Merger Implementation Agreement is a formal agreement confirming the commitment of both organisations to merge (subject to achieving regulatory and member approvals) and sets out how the merger would be undertaken.

Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank are both customer-owned banking institutions (known as mutuals) and this won’t change.

In the mutual model, customer interests are not in conflict with shareholder interests. Being solely customer focussed means all profits are used to benefit our customers and are delivered back into highly competitive products and rates, responsible lending, outstanding customer service, and a commitment to supporting local communities.

While Greater Bank is a mutual bank and Newcastle Permanent is currently a building society, we are regulated in the same way by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) and are both authorised to use the word “bank” in relation to our businesses.

This is not a takeover by either party. This is a merger of equals where we are choosing to come together as two highly successful, financially strong Hunter-based organisations, to position our region as a financial powerhouse in Australia.

This is a strength-to-strength deal and a merger of equals. We are two of the financially strongest mutuals in Australia.

If the merger proceeds, we will continue to support our local communities by maintaining or growing the $4.5 million invested each year by Newcastle Permanent, Greater Bank and our respective charitable foundations.

* Total assets based on each entity’s unaudited management accounts as at 30 June 2021.