The entity created through January's merger of Marac Finance, CBS Canterbury and Southern Cross Building Society says it's to be known as Heartland New Zealand Ltd from June 1.
Currently operating under the Building Society Holdings name, with principal operating subsidiary Combined Building Society, the parent will be known as Heartland New Zealand and the subsidiary Heartland Building Society.
The name comes as no surprise as the merger concept, launched by Marac's parent Pyne Gould Corporation last June, envisaged the ultimate establishment of a "Heartland Bank" with an application for a banking license expected to be lodged with the Reserve Bank in the second-half of this year. The group, which has a BBB- investment grade credit rating from Standard & Poor's, is covered by the extended Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme until December 31.
“The name Heartland fits with our long legacy of servicing urban and rural New Zealanders and their businesses – roots that go back to 1875,' said Heartland New Zealand managing director Jeff Greenslade.
"It also neatly portrays the core values of our financial services group and defines the drive and success of people and businesses closely associated with New Zealand’s economic strength. We want to be able to provide these people with a customer-focused offering that values a long-term partnership.”
Greenslade noted Heartland had started out as the project name in the early stages of the merger.
"We explored a number of alternative names over a nine month period before agreeing on Heartland, as it was a name that resonated in the minds of our customers, staff and with the media.”
The "Heartland" profile fits with the group's proposition of being a "niche and focused" provider of banking and financial services for small and medium sized businesses, the rural sector and families across New Zealand.
The Heartland brand will be progressively rolled out across all the group’s operating divisions, starting with business and rural, previously Marac and Pyne Gould Rural respectively. The CBS Canterbury, Southern Cross and Marac names will continue for now in the group's retail and consumer divisions.
The group is listed in the sharemarket and its NZX ticker will change to HNZ from BSH.