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Pulse members back Teachers Mutual merger

An overwhelming majority of Pulse Credit Union members have supported the proposed deal with Teachers Mutual Bank Ltd, with the two companies now looking to merge in November.

The merger, subject to final regulatory approvals, will go ahead after 98 per cent of Pulse members voted in favour of it, during a recent special general meeting.

Pulse, with its 6,000 members across the Victorian health and tertiary education sectors, would join the Health Professionals Bank and UniBank divisions of Teachers Mutual.

Up to two Pulse directors will become members of the Health Professionals Bank advisory committee and a maximum of two Pulse directors will also become members of the UniBank advisory committee.

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Teacher’s Mutual will also gain $122 million in assets from the deal, adding to its 210,000 members and $9 billion in assets.

As outlined in a letter to Pulse members, the credit union’s chair Neil McDonald stated the board believed it to be the “best and most appropriate strategy for Pulse to secure a successful and sustainable future in a very challenging and rapidly changing financial services environment”.

The deal is expected to be completed in November.

APRA gave its initial approval for the joining of the two lenders in August, after it was ticked off by both groups’ boards in July.

The pair had explored the deal since January, with Pulse citing commercial and technological challenges as its primary motivators.

The merger will also be Teachers Mutuals’ second for the year, following the consolidation of its Firefighters Mutual Bank brand with Firefighters Credit Co-operative in May.

Mutual merger mania

Similarly, fellow mutuals Newcastle Permanent and Greater Bank have signalled they are exploring a consolidation.

Newcastle Permanent chief executive Bernadette Inglis told Mortgage Business that mutual banks that do not have scale that will be unsustainable, in the face of the growing technology costs.

Meanwhile, Heritage Bank and People’s Choice Credit Union are midway through completing due diligence for a proposed merger.

Should the boards of Heritage and People’s Choice decide to pursue the deal, it would be put to a member vote early next year.

[Related: Westpac PNG sale blocked by ICCC]

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