We are delighted to unveil our new name and brand – People First Bank – which says exactly what we’re all about – people.
This is a fresh new brand that builds on our past, reflects the deep roots and values of both organisations, and is underpinned by the feedback from our people and members who told us they wanted us to continue to put people first.
People First Bank reflects our continuing focus on delivering positive change for our members, communities and people, while underscoring our ongoing commitment to being a purpose-driven, customer-owned alternative to the listed banks.
- People First Bank will be introduced to the market, starting from March 2024, in a process that will take some to complete.
A phased approach is being taken to introducing all aspects of the new brand which will be rolled out across branches, products, digital channels, sponsorships and the community. In time, we will also move to a single technology platform ensuring our members can access a contemporary banking platform.
For now, there is no immediate change, with both current brands continuing to operate as usual. This is a huge milestone for our organisation – further updates will be provided as the new brand is rolled out.
- Our members and our people told us they wanted us to put people first and we have done just that.
We commissioned comprehensive market research to gain a deeper understanding of our people and our members' preferences and expectations of our new brand. This involved surveys, focus groups, and interviews. These insights were instrumental in shaping the brand to reflect the deep roots and values of both organisations.
- There are no immediate changes. Both the Heritage Bank and People’s Choice brands will continue to operate as usual.
Over time, products and services will be rebranded, and members will continue to have access to a range of award-winning, competitively-priced products and services. In time, we will also move to a single technology platform, ensuring our members can access a contemporary banking platform to meet the needs of new and existing members.
Members will be kept updated throughout this process so that they know what to expect as the changes will be introduced progressively over some time.
- We wanted to signify the emergence of our organisation as a new force for good in the Australian banking sector by adopting a name that is also fresh and new.
Through this new brand, we have delivered on our merger commitment to create a new brand that was representative of both People’s Choice and Heritage Bank while at the same time reflecting our future aspirations.
While our name and brand will change, our commitment to our members, local communities and being proudly customer-owned remains the same.
- The announcement of our new name is a preview only – we are not making any immediate changes to our name or our branding. Our organisation will continue to have the legal name of Heritage and People’s Choice Limited, and the two brands will continue to operate for the time being, before being phased out through the rebranding process which will start in March next year and take some time to complete.
- People First Bank reflects our continuing focus on delivering positive change through banking and underscores our commitment to being a purpose-driven, customer-owned alternative to the listed banks.
Through this new brand, we have delivered on our merger commitment to create a new brand that was representative of both People’s Choice and Heritage Bank while at the same time reflecting our way forward.
This preview of People First Bank is the next major step in our exciting transformation to become a genuine national member-owned alternative to the listed banks.
- Yes. We remain 100% member-owned and focused on serving you, our members. Our new brand reflects our aspiration as a national mutual that offers a genuine alternative to the listed banks.
The simple truth is that many people today aren’t familiar with the terms “credit union” or “building society”, so don’t understand what they mean. Using the term “bank” in our name makes clear to everyone what our core business is.
That’s not to say we are the same as the listed banks. We will be sure to differentiate ourselves as the purpose-driven alternative to the listed banks, which are all about maximising profit.
- The merger provides the opportunity to do more for members by combining two member-driven and complementary businesses while also increasing support for community and environmental initiatives.
By bringing our two like-minded organisations together, we have the scale needed to deliver more for members through better products, services, digital capabilities, and competitive pricing.
- The merger has provided the scale needed to ensure members continue to benefit from competitive financial products, personalised customer service and modern, secure banking technology – all with the care that only a strong, sustainable, member-owned banking organisation can provide.
We are now large enough to offer members more but still small enough to retain the personal touch.
The benefits that members will enjoy over time as a result of the merger include:
• Gaining access to one of Australia’s largest member-owned branch networks of 95 sites.
• A wider range of award-winning, competitively-priced products and services.
• Better credit cards and payments options.
• The removal of a number of fees and charges.
• 24/7 Australian-based call centre support and Saturday trading in selected branches.
• Contemporary, secure digital banking, backed by ongoing investment to meet members’ evolving needs
• A minimum of $50 million over five years in community support and environmental initiatives.
• Local knowledge, employment and investment from our permanent, dual head offices in Adelaide and Toowoomba.
- Yes. We remain 100% member-owned and totally focused on serving you, our members.
- No. It has been a true merger of equals. This is reflected in the fact that we have dual head offices in Adelaide and Toowoomba, and that the new Board is made up of an equal number of directors from People’s Choice and Heritage.
- Members of both People’s Choice and Heritage Bank have automatically become members of the merged organisation.
- There are no immediate changes to current product features and services. As our systems are integrated, members will be able to access to a wider range of award-winning, competitively-priced products and services.
Members will be fully notified of any changes which impact them.
- We are now one single organisation, with the legal name of “Heritage and People’s Choice Limited”.
However, we will continue trading under the existing brand names of “Heritage Bank” and “People’s Choice” for an interim period. In time, we will adopt a fresh, new brand name that reflects our aspirations to provide a compelling alternative to the listed bank sector for all Australians.
- Michael Cameron, the former People’s Choice Chairman, has been appointed as Chairman and Kerry Betros, the former Heritage Chairman, has been appointed Deputy Chairman.
Peter Lock, the former CEO of Heritage, is now CEO of the merged organisation and Steve Laidlaw, the former CEO of People’s Choice, has been appointed Deputy CEO.
Mr Lock will retire after 18 months in his new role, when Mr Laidlaw will be appointed as CEO.
This arrangement will provide seamless leadership and deep expertise during the current integration period and well into the future.
You can find details of our Board here.
- Our people are our strength. Their skills, dedication and commitment to our members are critical to our ongoing success.
Both organisations have committed to no non-executive redundancies as a result of the merger.
- No. We will operate dual head offices in Adelaide and Toowoomba.
We remain committed to maintaining our presence in our existing communities, including continued support of local community programs.
- We’re now working to fully integrate our products, services, technology and internal processes, and deliver benefits to members.
Members will be fully notified of any changes which impact them.