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Welcome to First Option Bank

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Thanks to the overwhelming support of its members, First Option Credit Union has officially changed its name to “First Option Bank Ltd” effective from 7 December 2018.

This is an important step forward for First Option, as we grow and develop in a marketplace that is unfairly dominated by the big 4 banks and their subsidiaries.

While there are advantages to being called a bank, it is important to note that members will not be affected by the name change. 

First Option will continue to operate as a mutual.

  • First Option is still 100% member owned
  • Each shareholding member will retain one share
  • Our board of directors will not change
  • Members have the opportunity to vote at the AGM each year

Will my banking details change?

In short, the simple answer is NO.

  • Your member number will not change
  • Interest rates and fees will not change as a result of the name change
  • First Option’s BSB number will not change
  • Our website and email addresses, phone and fax numbers will not change

Why become a bank?

Here are the main reasons for changing our name to First Option Bank:

  • The word “bank” is a familiar term that implies security and strength
  • More effective in attracting new members to join First Option
  • People understand what a bank is, whereas the term “credit union” is confusing
  • Greater opportunities to attract the next generation of members to First Option
  • Reinforce to existing members that we are a strong and safe business

Why change now?

Previously, only the larger Credit Unions were allowed to change their name to bank. However, the Federal Government wanted to promote even greater competition in the banking sector. Therefore, on 5 May 2018 they changed the Banking Act (1959) to allow smaller ADIs* (such as First Option) to be called banks. While the big banks still enjoy massive advantages, this change will help to level the playing field.

Is my money still safe?

Yes, like the big banks, First Option is subject to the same Federal Government regulations imposed by APRA+. First Option holds an Australian Financial Services Licence and is a signatory to the Government Deposit Guarantee Scheme. First Option also has a card transaction fraud monitoring service that operates 24x7, 365 days a year.

How did members vote for the name change?

In the Notice of AGM 2018, First Option members were informed of this special resolution. Every shareholding member was given the opportunity to vote for or against the resolution. In order for it to pass, First Option needed 75% of the voters to vote in favour of the special resolution. At the 2018 AGM held on 27 November 2018, over 96% of voting members voted in favour.

Questions?

If you have any other questions about the name change, please contact us.

* Authorised Deposit-taking Institution

+ Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority