16 Sep 2010

New bank merger to go ahead

5:13 pm on 16 September 2010

Three of the oldest money lending organisations in New Zealand are to merge.

Marac, the Canterbury Building Society and Southern Cross Building Society have been in talks since June, about combining to form a $2 billion bank and list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

The chairman of the establishment board overseeing the process, Bruce Irvine, says they have undertaken extensive due diligence and independent analysis and all believe the merger plan is their best interests.

Mr Irvine says the merged bank could be operating early next year, subject to regulatory and stakeholder approval.

Pyne Gould chief executive Jeff Greenslade says the merged entity will comfortably exceed the 9% capital reserve rate for finance companies and have about $300 million dollars in cash and liquid assets.

Investors will vote in November with the merger planned to take effect at the start of next year. A public listing is expected in early February.