Published 27 October 2011
PSIS Ltd was registered as a bank and changed its name yesterday to The Co-operative Bank Ltd. It becomes the 21st registered bank.
The new bank is 100% owned by its customers and will specialise in personal banking.
PSIS chairman Sir David Gascoigne said the board concluded that its sound financial position, size & asset base would be better served by the regulatory regime that surrounds the trading banks. “Bank registration is also about better clarifying our position in the market. It means we can officially call ourselves a bank, so everyone will understand what we do without having to explain it.
"Our main focus has been the protection of our customers’ rights & privileges. Securing bank registration will not alter the way we operate, or our commitment to our customers. We’ll continue to operate the business on a sound & prudent basis. And we’re extremely proud of the fact that we’ll remain a co-operative and retain the essence of PSIS.”
Sir David said the new name "better reflects our distinct difference from other banks – the fact that we’re actually a customer-owned co-operative. It also moves us strongly away from a long-held misconception that we do business only with public servants. In fact, we’ve been open to all New Zealanders since 1995."
Chief executive Girol Karacaoglu said the co-operative model was hugely successful worldwide and this has been particularly so during the recent global economic crisis: "At a time when investors’ faith has been shaken throughout the world, co-operatives have not only survived but thrived. People have been attracted and remained loyal to the conservative governance & risk management that’s part of the co-operative ethos. We exist solely for the benefit of our members, and their best interests are our number one priority.
"Becoming a member-owned bank ensures our relationship with our members remains unchanged and we’re not distracted by the need to satisfy shareholder returns. We’ll be a bank driven by the values & heart of a co-operative.
"Over the next 12 months we’ll be implementing a number of initiatives that will further demonstrate our co-operative difference. We want to give our customers a better voice so they can have a say in how we do things and we aim to pay our co-operative customers, who are our owners, a rebate based on the level of business they do with us."
The Co-operative Bank appointed 2 new directors today – Steven Fyfe & Ross Wilson, both of Wellington.
Mr Fyfe retired recently from the ANZ National Bank Ltd group after 29 years with it. He was a National Bank director & its chief financial officer from 1997-2004, and deputy chief executive of ANZ National from 2009-11.
Mr Wilson is a solicitor & mediator who’s worked in a range of roles within various trade unions since 1979, culminating in his role as president of the NZ Council of Trade Unions from 1999-2007. Mr Wilson has served on a number of boards, including as chairman of the Accident Compensation Corp and as a director of Kiwi Rail Holdings Ltd.
The other directors are Peter Ellis, Paul Goulter, John Isles, Dianne Kidd, Joanna Perry & Sam Robinson.
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Attribution: Company & Reserve Bank releases, story written by Bob Dey for the Bob Dey Property Report.