Queensland Country and ECU have announced their intention to merge in 2017. Below you'll find some of the frequently asked questions about the merger.
QCCU & ECU merger
Why are Queensland Country and ECU Australia proposing a merger?
The merger is a perfect match for both businesses. Both Queensland Country Credit Union and ECU were established in the early 1970s to support fairer banking for hard working regional Queenslanders.
Both credit unions have a strong reputation in North Queensland for their personal service, community support and fairer approach to banking. We are both committed to offering members values-based, easy, fair, locally owned banking products and services that customers can trust genuinely have their best interest at heart.
A merger between Queensland Country Credit Union and ECU aligns with the strategic aspirations of both businesses. The move supports the long term growth strategy for the credit unions and will help us achieve our near term operational targets. The core values of the two organisations perfectly align and the similar product suites and complementary branch network makes this an opportunity members can be excited about.
What will this mean for Members?
The alliance will deliver significant benefits for Members. The merger will provide the organisation with the capacity to introduce new products and services to meet the future banking needs of Members.
What does the merger involve?
The proposal requires regulatory review and ECU Member approval.
It is anticipated that a successful outcome will see the two businesses merge in the first quarter of 2017. Both Boards have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding which will now kick-start the due diligence and regulatory review which is expected to take up to 6 months. Following approval by APRA the proposal will then be put to ECU Members for vote in late 2016. During this period it will be business as usual for staff with both credit unions operating as normal.>
Once merged the new entity will operate as Queensland Country Credit Union, with the Head Office in Townsville. The board and CEO positions will be consolidated during the first phase of the merger. The Board of the merged entity will initially comprise six Directors from Queensland Country and three Directors from ECU. Current Queensland Country Chair, Bruno Cullen, will remain as Chair.
Why is this a good move for the business and what are the benefits?
A merger builds a stronger more resilient business.
The proposed merger will make the new organisation a strong local alternative in banking and strengthen the future of customer owned banking in Queensland. The merger will result in signficant operational savings, with competitive products and a great service offer. As always, our Members are our focus.
What does it mean for staff and how will it impact on branches?
The merger opens up new opportunities for staff who work with us but there are not expected to be any changes to staffing in the initial phase of the integration. We do not anticipate any branch closures in the medium term. Any decisions to streamline services to drive operational efficiencies in the long term will be balanced by what is in the best interest of Members.
Will the merger change how I deal with your business?
Until the merger is completed in early 2017 it is business as usual. ECU is expected to continue to operate under the ECU brand for a number of months before full integration to Queensland Country products and systems.
Branches will operate as usual and the complementary branch footprint means we do not anticipate any major changes to how business is currently represented in our communities. Banking remains the same as usual, credit cards will still be the same and BSB and account numbers will remain the same until full integration with Queensland Country products and systems.
Will this lead to the closure of branches in the near future?
If successful a merged entity will look to improve member value by seeking operational efficiencies but only where they add value to our customer owners. The merger will give you access to an expanded branch footprint and improved online and digital banking offerings.
Do I need to do anything?
QCCU Members do not need to do anything. We will keep Queensland Country members informed on what they need to do if anything.
ECU Members will be asked to vote on the proposal following regulatory approval by APRA in late 2016.
How can I be kept informed throughout the process?
Regular member updates will be available on our website.
- We will be sending out Member communications regularly through this process to keep you up to date with what is happening with your business.
- As usual you are also able to talk with your local team to keep up to date with the process and news.