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Lender takeover put on the backburner

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has withheld his approval for the acquisition of a Queensland-based lender, requesting further details before rubberstamping the takeover.

Non-bank lender Firstmac’s acquisition of Queensland-based lender Maleny Credit Union (MCU) has been postponed, as per the request of Commonwealth Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

In May, Firstmac announced that its bid to acquire MCU for $7 million received support from 98 per cent of the MCU’s members, marking the successful completion of the scheme and “demutualisation” meetings.

The bid was subject to approval from the Supreme Court and Treasury.

The stakeholders were expecting a verdict on 2 August; however, it has been revealed that Treasury has withheld its approval and has requested more details from the two parties.

In a letter to members, MCU chairman Sarah Davies said: “The board of MCU Ltd wishes to advise members that due to the Australian Treasurer requiring more information about the Firstmac transaction, there will be a further delay in finalising the matter.

“The directors apologise for the ongoing delay and share the frustration members are feeling; however, the issue is a regulatory one and out of our control.”

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Mortgage Business reached out to MCU for further information regarding the detail requested by Treasurer Frydenberg’s office but is yet to receive a response.

However, Ms Davies told members “that a further update would be provided following the board’s next meeting”.

CEO steps down

In the same letter to MCU members, Ms Davies also announced that the credit union’s CEO, Bob Malcolm, will step down from his role.

The chairman stated that Mr Malcolm will be returning to Melbourne for family reasons.

“The board would like to thank Bob for his extraordinary leadership and hard work over the past four years,” Ms Davies said.

Mr Malcolm will officially step down from his role as CEO at the end of September.

[Related: Lender takeover approved by members]

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