Due diligence for the proposed merger between Heritage Bank and People’s Choice is progressing well, according to the Toowoomba-based lender.
Heritage Bank - one of the largest customer-owned banks - is in merger talks with the Adelaide-based People’s Choice to create a mutual with 700,000 members and $22 billion in total assets.
“The work is on track for completion in time for the boards of both organisations to decide by the end of the year on whether to proceed with the merger proposal,” Heritage said.
“If the decision is to go forward, it will proceed to a member vote early next year.”
Separately, Heritage Bank has promised to add a further $1 million to the Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation established three years ago.
The donation is on top of the $2.3 million that Heritage has given in previous years to build up the Foundation, according to Heritage Bank's chair Kerry Metros.
“The increase helps further bring to life Heritage’s vision of creating a Foundation that will become a major contributor to Australia’s philanthropic community,” he said.
The Foundation gave out a total of $90,000 in grants to nine charity partners in its inaugural round of grants late last year, and applications are currently being accepted for the second round of grants this year, also totaling $90,000.
“It’s fantastic to see the impact the Foundation’s charity partners are achieving in helping some of the most vulnerable people in our society,” Betros added.
“It’s also thrilling to witness the Heritage community getting behind the Foundation to help change lives. Our members and business partners have made generous donations, while our staff has also contributed through workplace giving, volunteering, and participating in events.”
Growing the funding pool
The head of Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation Paul Olds said the donation grows the size of the Foundation's funding pool, which will generate higher future investment income.
"This donation sends a clear message to the community that Heritage is serious in its commitment to creating a highly effective and successful Foundation,” he said.
Betros said the charities Heritage Bank's supports are on the frontline helping those in the community who most need help.
“In a time of great disruption and uncertainty we wanted to show them their incredibly hard work is a major inspiration in our development of the Foundation.”