1 Jul 2010

More consolidation in financial sector likely

7:32 am on 1 July 2010

Southland-based mutually-owned SBS Bank is planning to merge with Hawke's Bay-based HBS Building Society.

Pyne Gould Corporation, the Canterbury Building Society, and the Southern Cross Building Society are also holding talks to form a bank and list on the stock exchange.

SBS Bank chief executive Ross Smith says the merger extends its presence in the North Island, as SBS aims to become a national bank.

SBS has assets of $2.63 billion with 15 branches, and HBS has assets of $185 million and has two branches.

If approved in September by HBS, merging the two organisations will begin in October.