The NZPFU has been approached by some of our members who are also members of the New Zealand Firefighters Credit Union (FCU) who are concerned an amalgamation proposal with another credit union is being voted on without any information on other options.
The New Zealand Firefighters Credit Union Board has called for a vote on its recommendation to merge with New Zealand Credit Union Baywide. The Firefighters’ Credit Union Board has cited increasing financial compliance requirements as the reason for the proposal to merge.
On the information the NZPFU has seen there are concerns about the implications of the proposed merger including:
- It will no longer be firefighters/fire service personnel money being used for firefighters/fire service personnel. The NZFCU funds will be merged into the NZCU Baywide funds.
- The identity with firefighters and fire service personnel is not just a brand but is reflective of the collective nature and its history of firefighters and fire service personnel helping firefighters and fire service personnel. They are proud to serve their community and proud to have a credit union that reflects those values.
- There is no guarantee the personal service and staffing will continue.
- There is no guarantee that the current fee structure, including the raft of staff assisted services provided without fees, will continue.
- There is no guarantee the accounts that are relevant to operational firefighters, such as mess accounts with multiple cards, will continue.
- There is no guarantee for the membership that prefers to deal in cash that they will still deal be able to without incurring additional fees, or without personalised service.
- There is no guarantee on the fees, loan or savings rates.
The NZPFU would prefer to see FCU provide all information for consideration, including what would happen if a merger does not eventuate, information on the other options (if any) considered and why they were not preferred. Unfortunately there is little time for the provision of that information, and even if provided limited opportunity for full consideration of options, as the FCU Board proposal to merge with NZCU Baywide will take place at 2pm on 2 June 2021 at the Petone Working Men’s Club at 47 Udy Street, Petone, Lower Hutt.
The NZPFU is separate to the FCU but we have a significant number of members who are also members of the FCU and use their banking and borrowing facilities. We have a mutual interest in ensuring our members’ interests are best served. We are not questioning the commitment or diligence of the FCU Board but we are calling for more information on all options that may be available.
- The NZPFU advises our members who are FCU members that we believe there is insufficient information provided to determine whether the merger with NZCU Baywide is the best option.
- NZPFU President Ian Wright is also member of the FCU and is willing to attend the FCU meeting and act as a proxy for FCU members who cannot attend the meeting at Petone at 2pm on 2 June 2021. If you want Ian Wright to act as your proxy please fill in the attached form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Alternatively FCU Members can hand deliver their vote to the Firefighters’ Credit Union Petone Branch (not the NZPFU), or to send your vote by post to the FCU (not the NZPFU) but it must be received by the FCU no later than 4.00pm on Tuesday 1 June 2021.
Please also see the downloadable information below provided by the FCU including a message from the Board, Notice of Meeting, Voting Form and FAQ.