STATEWEST Credit Society members have voted in favour of demutualisating their institution, paving the way for the proposed merger with listed suitor Home Building Society. Just more than half of StateWest’s membership voted on the issue, with 90 per cent of the 30,366 votes cast favouring the end to mutual status. According to the credit society’s constitution, a minimum of 25 per cent of members were required to make the vote count, with 75 per cent of those voting needed to support demutualisation for it to go ahead. The demutualisation was opposed by a group of members, some involved in the founding of the society in the early 1960s to offer an alternative to banks, which at the time were regarded as unfriendly to consumers. Unless a legal challenge occurs, the next step in the process is in the hands of Home’s shareholders, who will vote on the proposed merger with StateWest on Monday November 28. If Home shareholders approve the move, the merged business will have 36 branches, 400 staff and $3.5 billion in funds under management, representing about 5 per cent of the WA market. StateWest chief executive Greg Wall (pictured above) said the demutualisation vote was clear and emphatic. “We now look forward to moving onto the next stage of the transaction and putting the merger proposal before both StateWest members and Home shareholders,” he said.
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