Credit union shuts doors
New Zealand Credit Union North last week closed its Matamata branch, leaving three people without jobs and members feeling ‘‘deserted’’.
The closure was a result of an intended merger between NZCU North and First Credit Union, which cover a similar area.
In the merger, NZCU North would transfer its assets and liabilities, including membership, to First Credit Union.
Acting chief executive Peter Iles said the Matamata branch was ‘‘not economical’’ and there was no chance at this stage it would reopen.
‘‘Some hard decisions have to be made,’’ said Mr Iles. ‘‘ We have taken into account the members and their feelings, however, we have to consider all 27,500 of our members.’’
On the Chronicle Facebook page, member Naomi Tuhakaraina said she had received no warning from NZCU North before the closure.
‘‘They didn’t let anyone know – not even the people that work there.’’
The nearest branch was now in Te Aroha but members could access their accounts online and over the phone, said Mr Iles.
‘‘Members will also benefit from lower fees and higher interest rates.
‘‘Job losses are regrettable, they are unfortunately unavoidable as we seek to future- proof First Credit Union.’’
Branches in Tokoroa, Turangi, Te Puke and Papamoa were also closed, as well as an administration centre in Mt Maunganui.