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With 2023 fast drawing to a close, I wanted to say thank you to all members for your continued support during what has been an extremely eventful year.

There’s been a lot of positives throughout the year and we have plenty to celebrate. I’m also mindful that the current economic conditions are posing some challenges, and I’d like to remind you that we are always here to help where we can.

Of course, the highlight of 2023 has been the merger between Heritage Bank and People’s Choice, to create Australia’s leading customer-owned banking organisation.

The merger became official on 1 March this year, after the members of both organisations voted overwhelmingly in favour of the merger in November last year.

Since then, we’ve been doing something very rare. We’ve been building a new bank. A better bank. One that will deliver positive change for people across Australia.

The merger process has been going very well, with excellent progress being made across all aspects of our integration activities.

Most importantly, I am very proud to say that we have remained 100% committed to serving the interests of our members, despite the potential distractions that the merger process has posed.

Our reason for being is to serve the needs of you, our members, and we continue to deliver on that mission. More than that, we also embrace our responsibility to support the communities where our members work and live, and that community ethos continues to shine through initiatives such as the Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation and the People’s Choice Community Lottery. 

We know just how much our members value the fact that we are driven by purpose, rather than profit. That’s what sets us apart.

Another massive milestone for us in 2023 was the recent announcement that the new brand for our organisation will be People First Bank.

People First Bank is a fantastic name. It honours the strengths and values of both organisations, while also standing out as a compelling and fresh proposition in a highly competitive environment.

The first elements of our rebranding will be seen from March next year, and a gradual transition process will roll out from there. 

I want to stress that while our name and brand will change, our commitment to our customers, employees, local communities and being proudly customer-owned remains the same.

So, thank you again for your continued support. Please stay safe in the festive season and enjoy spending quality time with family and friends. Let’s also look forward to a fantastic 2024! 

IMAGE CAPTION: Chairman Michael Cameron (left) and CEO Peter Lock (right). 


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