We’re excited to confirm that Heritage and People’s Choice officially merged on Wednesday 1 March 2023. This followed an overwhelming vote in favour of the merger from the members of both organisations in November last year.
Together, we are now Australia’s leading customer-owned financial institution, with 720,000 members, 1,900 employees, more than $23 billion in assets and 95 branches across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The way you do your day-to-day banking will not change for the moment. Your accounts will remain the same. Your local branch will look the same. The same friendly employees will continue to look after your needs.
We will be in touch about any changes that may affect you in future as the full integration process gets underway, but there is no need for you to do anything now – other than share in our excitement about the opportunity we have to create something special.
This merger is all about delivering more for you, our members. That means enhanced products and services, better digital capabilities and competitive pricing, as well as increased support for community and environmental initiatives.
We’re taking a phased approach to introducing all aspects of the new brand which we intend to roll out across branches, products, digital channels, sponsorships and the community over time. We’ll keep you updated throughout this process so that you know what to expect.
As we work towards our new brand, we will slowly phase out our existing brands, including their websites. For now, these are the only three official website addresses for our bank.
Remember to double check the web address matches one of the above if you're unsure.
What will our new name be? What does it mean?
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.
When will the brand be rolled out?
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.
How was the new brand chosen?
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.
How does the new brand fit into the broader business strategy?
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.
Will products and services change?
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.
Are we still a mutual given ‘Bank’ is in our new name?
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.
Why did we need to change our name?
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.
When will our name officially change from Heritage and People’s Choice to People First Bank?