Customer owned banking just got bigger: Queensland Country Credit Union and ECU to merge

Thursday 19 May 2016

Article by Kelly Emmerton

With the announcement of a proposed merger between two of North Queensland's biggest credit unions, Queensland Country Credit Union and ECU Australia, locally owned mutuals are reaching new strengths in the banking world.

Customer owned banking just got bigger: Queensland Country Credit Union and ECU to merge

The new combined mutual will operate as Queensland Country Credit Union, with a Head Office in Townsville, assets worth over $1.5 billion and more than 70,000 customers. Queensland Country CEO Aileen Cull and ECU CEO Colin Daly said the customer owned mutuals share core values and a customer profile, making the merger a perfect fit.

“We have both been taking care of hard working regional Queensland families for over 40 years, always evolving our service, products and business models with the best interests of these people at heart,” Cull said.

Daly added that the merger would be beneficial for customers, members and staff from both organisations, touting an expanded branch network, an improved range of products, stronger digital capabilities and more efficient operational capacities among the benefits.

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In Mozo’s recent Experts Choice Home Loan Awards, we saw a strong trend toward small providers, customer owned banks and mutuals providing consistently better value on mortgage products than big banks.

This merger is expected to expedite that trend, and make the new Queensland Country Credit Union a strong competitor against big banks in Queensland. Daly called it a move toward “...creating an organisation with the scale, size and focus on people required to offer a resilient, strong and genuine alternative in banking.”

The proposal for merger will have to gain Regulatory approval and then be put to a vote amongst ECU members before going ahead. The vote is expected to take place in late 2016, and if successful, the merger is expected to be completed in early 2017.
In the meantime, customers of both mutuals can expect to go about their banking as normal.

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