Jobs to go in credit union rejig
About 21 staff will lose their jobs when New Zealand Credit Union North closes five branches in a nationwide restructure to "future-proof" the company.
Waikato branches in Matamata and Tokoroa will close, along with those in Turangi, Te Puke and Papamoa, resulting in 14 job losses.
An administration centre in Mt Maunganui has also closed, leaving seven others out of work.
Further closures of the 16 branches across the country, seven of which are in Waikato, have not been ruled out.
Credit Union North (NZCU North) will transfer its business and its 27,500 members to First Credit Union in a bid to "protect [its] members' interests". The restructure was driven by pressure on member returns as a result of high operating and compliance costs and an increasingly competitive market.
This "transfer of engagement" will be finalised on Saturday, after which NZCU North will cease to exist.
First Credit Union general manager and NZCU North acting general manager, Peter Iles, said members voted in support of the move.
"Whilst these job losses are regrettable, they are unfortunately unavoidable, as we seek to future-proof First Credit Union for the benefit of our members.
"We will ensure that affected staff are supported in every way possible in finding and preparing for new roles."
Mr Iles said said that "we changed our mind" about several branches, including those in Te Kauwhata and Taupo, which will remain open.
Further details about the restructure and potential further closures will be announced following a full consultation process.