Wide Bay Australia shareholders have approved a change of name to Auswide Bank at a general meeting.
The company will now seek consent from APRA to move to bank status from April 1. APRA’s consent is required before the lender can use the word ‘bank’.
Wide Bay chairman John Humphrey said the name change is an important part of the company’s strategic plan, and was pleased with the support shown from shareholders.
“We will make an announcement to the market about the progress of our application to APRA when appropriate in due course,” he said.
Managing director Martin Barrett said achieving bank status and rebranding beyond the current geographic name is an important step for the company.
“It supports our program of work to revitalise our organisation and our desire to be seen as an attractive alternative to the big banks, which combines the strength of a listed, authorised deposit-taking institution with the service ethos of a mutual,” he said.
“It links back to our existing name, which will help ensure the continuity and recognition associated with the Wide Bay name is maintained.”
[Related: Building society plans to become a bank]
Update: The article originally referred to Wide Bay Australia as a mutual bank, when Wide Bay is actually a building society. The error has now been corrected.