Building society plans to become a bank

Wide Bay Australia will seek shareholder approval to change its name to Auswide Bank at a general meeting on 20 January.

The company will then seek consent from APRA to be recognised as a bank if the name change is approved.

Wide Bay chairman John Humphrey said the building society had already made the market and its shareholders aware of its intentions to convert to a bank.

“With the decision to convert to a bank, now is the right time for a change in name and corporate identity,” he said.

“We are confident that the proposed name will lead to increased recognition and opportunity.”

Managing director Martin Barrett said the new name was selected following an extensive development and consultation process.

“It links back to our existing name which will help ensure the continuity and that the goodwill and recognition associated with Wide Bay name is maintained,” he said.

“The recommended name also aligns with the company’s commitment to and aspirations for achieving growth nationally.”

Mr Barrett said the change of name and status would have little effect on the company’s day-to-day operations.

“We will be the same organisation with the same vision and values, and will maintain our focus on relationships with our customers, staff, business partners and our communities,” he said.

“The board has confirmed that there are no plans to relocate the company’s operations away from Bundaberg [in] Queensland, and we have a strong commitment to supporting a branch network in our core regions in Queensland.”

Wide Bay’s move comes after MyState Financial changed its name to MyState Bank in October.

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