Further to previous information about our merger negotiations with Teachers Mutual Bank Limited (Firefighters Mutual Bank brand), I am pleased to report that the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (‘APRA’), the financial services regulator, has given its approval for the next steps in the merger process to go ahead. This means that Firefighters and Affiliates Credit Co-operative Limited (FCCL) members will now have the opportunity to vote on the proposed merger as recommended by your Board of Directors.
I am writing to invite you to vote on the proposed merger at a Special General Meeting (SGM) of FCCL on Thursday 18th March at 5.00pm. The meeting will take place via the ZOOM teleconferencing facility, details containing the Zoom link will be provided upon registration for the Special General Meeting. A Notice of Special General Meeting is enclosed which includes further detail on the agenda, the resolutions to be considered and how to vote at the meeting, or by proxy if you are unable to attend the meeting.
On behalf of the Directors, I am pleased to present our membership with the opportunity to become part of a larger, stronger mutual bank that will provide better value to members and ensure our competitiveness and sustainability as a member-owned financial institution. We believe that Teachers Mutual Bank (TMB) through their Firefighters Mutual Bank brand shares the same values and commitment to putting members first. Our respective industry brands are strong, well respected and ethically minded and we both place emphasis on high levels of service and community involvement. Most importantly, our identity as a separate firefighters’ financial institution will be supported with the retention of our separate brand, through the Firefighters Mutual Bank brand and with continuing employment offered to all FCCL staff.
Below is a Member Information Statement, which is intended to provide members with comprehensive and objective information to assist in making an informed decision about the proposal that FCCL merge with Teachers Mutual Bank Limited. I urge all members to read it thoroughly.
The Board of Directors of FCCL firmly believes, for the reasons explained in the Member Information Statement, that a merger with Teachers Mutual Bank under the Firefighters Mutual Bank brand is the best and most appropriate strategy for FCCL to secure a successful and sustainable future in a very challenging and rapidly changing financial services environment.
If the merger that is now being proposed does not achieve the level of support from members that is required under the legislation to permit it to go ahead, it is highly probable that an alternative merger partner will need to be identified in the very near future. Any such future merger arrangement would involve terms that are likely to be markedly less favourable to FCCL and its members than the current proposal developed and agreed with Teachers Mutual Bank Limited.
For the present merger proposal to proceed, a special resolution has to be approved by FCCL members who are eligible to vote on the issue. That special resolution needs to have the support of at least 75% of the votes cast. You may vote in person by attending the Special General Meeting on 18th March, or cast your vote by proxy if you cannot attend. This can be done by completing and submitting the proxy form (link below), to be received by FCCL no later than the 5.00pm on 16th March. The proxy form is also available on the FCCL website.
In view of the significance of the special resolution being recommended to members by the Board, it is vital that you actively participate in determining the future shape and direction of FCCL by exercising your right to vote.
Gary S Bester