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Update: Appointment of Proxy forms are now available for any Member who is unable to vote in person at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is being held on 21 November 2017.

You can download a proxy form by clicking here. The meeting Agenda and explanatory papers for the Special Resolutions are available online at www.gatewaycu.com.au/Nov_AGM2017.

If you choose to appoint a proxy to vote on your behalf you will need to print, complete and sign the form. Please be aware, we will need a physical signature and not an electronic one.

You may choose the Chair of the AGM to act as your proxy or you can specify another person of your choosing.

If you appoint someone other than the Chair to act as your proxy, you should make sure that they are going to attend the AGM. If they do not attend the meeting or are absent when a vote is taken, your proxy vote will not be counted.

You will have the option to direct your proxy how to vote, which means if a poll is called they must cast your vote and must vote the way you direct. If you do not direct your proxy how to vote, they can vote as they see fit.

For your appointment to be valid the Appointment of Proxy form must reach us by no later than 48 hours before the start of the AGM.

You can do this by returning the form via one of the following channels:

a. Email: MutualBank@gatewaycu.com.au

b. Fax: (02) 9307 4299

c: Post/Deliver: Att: The Company Secretary, Gateway Credit Union, Level 16, 2 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000

 

As a member-owned financial institution we always seek to put our Members’ needs first, but the only way we can continue to deliver our Members the benefits they have enjoyed over the past 60 years is to ensure we remain strong as a business. 

As such, we are putting forward a proposal to our Members to change our name to Gateway Bank Ltd. A change in our name will provide us with new opportunities to improve our competitive position and support our long-term growth and development. If we choose to change our name, it is important to us that the proposal is supported by the overwhelming majority of our Members that vote. Our aim is to provide as much information as possible to our Members, to ensure you feel confident that this is the right decision. We will be updating this page with everything you need to stay informed on this process.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call us on 1800 022 042 or email MutualBank@gatewaycu.com.au.

Download the Member Information Pack Download the CEO's letter to Members

 

  Why do we want to change our name to Gateway Bank?

As a member-owned financial institution we always seek to put our Members’ needs first, but the only way we can continue to deliver our Members the benefits they have enjoyed over the past 60 years is to ensure we remain strong as a business. 

A change in our name to include the term ‘bank’ will provide us with new opportunities to improve our competitive position and support our long-term growth and development.

There is some industry research that suggests the term 'credit union' is ambiguous and confusing to the younger demographic, while other research suggests many customers perceive credit unions to be ‘old-fashioned’. Our new name will more effectively communicate what we do and speak to a broader audience to help bolster our reputation and future viability. 

The decision to change our name forms part of our strategic vision for the organisation and will help us deliver on our commitment to always provide the best services, products and value. 

  What benefits will come from changing our name to Gateway Bank? (What’s in it for me?)

A name change to Gateway Bank will help us improve our competitive standing, support our future growth and sustainability as well as assist us to provide more competitive services, products and all-round value.

As a bank, we will potentially be able to:

  • Gain access to more cost-effective funding in wholesale markets from a more diverse range of sources such as local governments, superannuation funds and not-for-profit organisations, which typically restrict their dealings to banks only. 

  • Compete on a more level playing field by leveraging greater public awareness and understanding of what a bank does and offers, allowing us to capture more market share in order to achieve better efficiencies and value for Members.

  • Strengthen our reputation as a trusted financial institution. Many people perceive banks to be safer than credit unions. Thus, trading as a bank will boost our public perception; helping us to attract new Members and secure the business’ ongoing success and reach its future growth targets.

Ultimately, we will have the strength of a bank but with the service, value and support that can only come from being a member-owned and member-focussed financial institution. 

  Why have you chosen to change our name now?

The opportunity to change our name came about as part of the Competitive and Sustainable Banking System reforms announced by the Federal Government and Treasury in 2010.

The reforms addressed public concerns around the concentration of power in the Big Four Banks, highlighting the importance of positioning smaller market players, such as Gateway, as competitive alternatives to the Big Banks. 

The Government announced that it would apply more competitive pressure on the Big Banks by creating a ‘fifth pillar’ in the banking system. This fifth pillar would be based on the combined competitive power of credit unions and building societies. 

Eligible credit unions and building societies were invited to convert to a mutual bank to collectively create a fifth pillar. 

While Gateway was eligible at the time, we made the decision to take a considered approach to ensure we acted in the best interests of our Members. After careful consideration, we believe now is the right time for Gateway to take this important next step in our evolution. The Board strongly believes that this is a prudent strategic decision that will improve our competitive standing and ensure our long-term success for the benefit of our Members.

  Does this mean we will be demutualising?

Absolutely not. We will retain our mutual status and continue to uphold the values and principles upon which we were founded.

Since 1955, we have been helping Members achieve their financial hopes and dreams and this will not change. As a mutual bank, we will remain owned by our Members who each have one equal vote. We will continue to reinvest our profits back into our systems and products to provide you with an even better banking experience. 

  What will change if we move to the name, Gateway Bank?

If approved by Members, we will change our name to Gateway Bank Ltd (trading as Gateway Bank) and our constitution will be updated to reflect the new name. 

In all other regards, our structure and operation will not change:

  • We will retain our mutual status as a member-owned financial institution and continue to uphold the values and principles upon which we were founded.

  • There will be no change to your accounts or everyday banking services.

  • We will continue to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards, while our staff continue to provide the high calibre personal service you’re accustomed to.

  What’s the difference between a credit union, a mutual bank and a retail bank?

Under Australian law, credit unions, mutual banks and retail banks are referred to as Australian Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions and all are regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

However, mutual banks and credit unions share far more similarities than retail banks. A mutual bank is a credit union that has gone through the process required to use the word ‘bank’ in their trading name.

Here we list out the similarities and differences between each:

 
Credit Unions
 
  • Often service communities and/or industry employees, but can also be open to anyone.
  • They are 100% owned by members. One member share equals one vote on credit union constitutional matters.
  • Profits/surplus is reinvested to support competitive products and services.
  • Many credit unions still offer limited banking services. Not all credit unions provide credit cards, home loans, online savings accounts, foreign exchange, etc.
 
Mutual Banks
 
  • Often service communities and/or industry employees, but can also be open to anyone.
  • They are 100% owned by members. One member share equals one vote on Mutual Bank constitutional matters.
  • Profits/surplus is reinvested to support competitive products and services.
  • Mutual banks generally offer standard consumer banking services such as home loans, online savings accounts, foreign exchange, etc.
  • Can use the word ‘bank’ in their trading name.
 
Banks
 
  • Banks are owned by shareholders who may or may not be customers. 
  • Most banks are publicly listed on the stock exchange where individual or institutional investors purchase multiple shares with varying voting numbers and rights attached to the shares.
  • A portion of bank profits is returned to shareholders as dividends. 
  • Banks strive to maintain or increase the value of the bank’s share price and return a strong dividend to shareholders. 
 
  Will this change mean we start acting like a Big Bank?

No. We will retain our mutual status and continue to uphold the values and principles upon which we were founded. Unlike a bank, which is usually owned by large institutional investors and other shareholders, we will continue to remain member-owned and member-focussed. That means we will continue to operate in the best interests of our current and future Members, delivering the same great service and value that we have always provided.

  Have other credit unions made this change?

Yes, the opportunity to change to a bank has already been successfully taken up by several other credit unions. Some examples include Teachers Mutual Bank, Police Bank, QT Mutual Bank and BankVic. All these mutual banks continue to be member-focussed. Our Board has carefully assessed the experiences and learnings of other credit unions before making its recommendation. Our Directors are satisfied that a change to Gateway Bank will benefit our Members now and in the future.

  What will happen if we don’t make this change?

We are currently in a strong financial position and we expect this to continue. However, changing to a bank would give us a platform to strengthen our future growth and success. If the name change is not approved, we will continue to operate as per usual however it will make it more difficult to expand and we will continue to come up against the same challenges we currently face, such as:

  • Consumer confusion around the term 'credit union' 

  • Being less competitive in attracting new and a diverse range of members

  • Limited access to cost-effective funding

  What are the risks involved in changing our name?

There are no risks involved with the name change. It will put us in a better position for future growth and success.

  Will this name change alter the future business strategy of the organisation?

Our business strategy is constantly evolving to ensure we’re in the best possible position in the current market. While we do plan ahead to the best of our ability, we also have to remain flexible and agile. 

While our business strategy will adapt, ultimately, our underlying ethos and overall vision for Gateway will remain the same. We will retain our mutual status and continue to uphold the values and principles upon which we were founded. 

  If so, what will be the future business direction/strategy?

As Gateway Bank, we will be in a better position to evolve the business, grow and continue to increase our market share. The future business strategy will position us to take full advantage of the new opportunities this name change will present to us, while allowing us to continue to offer competitive and innovative lending and deposit products to our Members. 

  What is involved/what is the process of changing our name to Gateway Bank?

To become a mutual bank we need the support of 75% of Members who vote, to vote in favour of the resolution.

All shareholder Members over the age of 18 are eligible to vote.

Members can either vote by proxy or in person at the AGM on Tuesday, 21 November 2017, at The York Conference & Function Centre at Level 2, 99 York Street, Sydney, commencing at 5.30pm.

We will be providing proxy forms to all Members along side your quarterly statements, which will be sent early October.

If approved by Members the final step will be to formally apply to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) for consent to use the words or expressions ‘bank’, ‘banker’ and ‘banking’ under S66 of the Banking Act.

  If approved, when will the name change take effect?

If approved, the name change is scheduled to take effect from 1 March 2018.

  How much will it cost for us to change our name? Will it be an expensive exercise that we end up paying for?

As with any change in a business, there will be some initial costs involved in changing our name but in overall terms these costs will be minor. It will not impact the service or value we provide to Members.

  Will fees and charges increase as a result of the name change?

No, the name change will not result in an increase to current fees nor will we implement additional fees and charges. As in any business, fees and charges change in response to economic market conditions. We will continue to provide the same value and service as we have always done. 

  Will the name change affect access to accounts and services?

No, the name change will not inconvenience you in any way. Everything will remain the same. There will be no change to your membership structure or your day-to-day banking arrangements. You will still have access to the same accounts and services that you currently use.


  Where can I obtain more information?

If we choose to change our name, it is important to us that the proposal is supported by the overwhelming majority of our Members. 

Our aim is to provide as much information as possible to our Members, to ensure they feel confident that this is the right decision. The following Member information and consultation process is planned:

  • An outline of the proposal and recommendation is available in downloadable format, click here

  • Information will be updated regularly on our website: www.gatewaycu.com.au

  • Annual General Meeting to be held on Tuesday, 21 November 2017 at the York Conference & Function Centre at Level 2, 99 York Street, Sydney, commencing at 5.30pm

  Do I get a say in this name change?

Absolutely. As a member-owned financial institution, the decision to become a mutual bank is in your hands. Each Member has equal voting rights and no one Member carries a stronger influence over another.

To become a mutual bank we need the support of 75% of Members who vote, to vote in favour of the resolution.

All shareholder Members over the age of 18 are eligible to vote.

Members can either vote by proxy or in person at the AGM on Tuesday, 21 November 2017, at The York Conference & Function Centre at Level 2, 99 York Street, Sydney, commencing at 5.30pm.

We will be providing proxy forms to all Members along side your quarterly statements, which will be sent early October.


  Who can I speak to if I have concerns and queries/to voice my opinion?

Over the coming weeks, it is our priority to ensure we are available to discuss this opportunity with our Members. We greatly welcome your views, ideas and comments or if you have any questions or concerns, we want to hear from you. You can contact us through any of the channels below: