I recommend that members of the Holiday Coast Credit union vote against the proposed merger with the Regional Australia Bank, for the following reasons:
- The headquarters of the bank will be relocated to Armidale and decisions will be made by majority directors who would, most likely, prefer their local (Armidale) interests.
- The better interest rates quoted as a benefit have not been adequately explained and are, in any event, forecasts based on assumptions which are unproven.
- Less fees have also not been adequately explained (have you ever known a bank to reduce fees?)
- The Credit Union is, by its own admission, in a healthy financial position, so there is no need for crisis action such as this rushed merger.
- The benefits of increased scale and operational efficiency relating to the merger are probably correct but must be seen in the light of the loss of autonomy.
A troubling aspect of this proposed merger has been just how badly the directors and senior management have handled dealings with the members. A notice was not posted out to all members setting out the dates of the information meetings (did you know about them?)
I recommend a vote against the proposed merger.
John Oxley, Port Macquarie
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