How will the Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank merger affect customers?

Posted: 3 August 2021 2:47 pm
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The merger will create Australia's largest customer-owned bank, and maintain both bank brands.

The 2 Hunter mutual banks, Greater Bank and Newcastle Permanent, have announced their intention to merge to create Australia's largest customer-owned bank. Both banks are mutual banks owned by customers instead of shareholders, which will remain the case after the merger.

Together the 2 banks will have more than 600,000 customers and 1,600 employees. The banks confirmed that there will be no forced staff redundancies for at least the next 2 years.

What does the merger mean for customers?

Grater Bank currently has 276,600 customers and Newcastle Permanent has 325,000. CEO of Newcastle Permanent Bernadette Inglis confirmed in a media conference on Tuesday that this merger will have little impact on customers.

"For all customers, there will be no change in their day to day banking. This merger will deliver value for customers, more so than what we can do separately."

Both banks intend to continue offering their own bank accounts and home loan offers. If you've got an existing home loan with either bank, it won't change at all as a result of the merger.

Inglis also confirmed that the merger would not see an immediate cut in branch numbers, but hinted that branches would likely change in terms of how they're operated.

"This merged entity will hold branch numbers at the current number of 100. The role of the branch is changing, and we need to continue to adapt to make sure the service is relevant to customers' changing needs," she said.

The banks have promised to maintain their combined number of branches for at least the next 2 years. Greater Bank recently closed down 3 of its local branches in January, and Newcastle Permanent closed 2 branches in March.

Both bank brands will be maintained after the merger. The main benefit of the merger is to combine assets which will help both brands invest more heavily in technology updates.

If the merger goes ahead, the planned timing for completion is early 2022.

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