AUCKLAND, 20 November 2017: Co-op Money NZ, the industry organisation representing co-operatively owned credit unions and mutual building societies in New Zealand today announced that it has won its appeal against the decision of the Registrar of Friendly Societies and Credit Unions.

The successful appeal in the High Court means that Co-op Money NZ can continue to provide wholesale banking and other services not only to its Member credit unions, but also to Associate members and third parties.

Henry Lynch, CEO of Co-op Money NZ, says that the decision is a major affirmation of the services that the organisation delivers and its right to do so.

“We are delighted with this decision which means that Co-op Money NZ can continue to provide services to both Associates and third parties as it has done for many years.”

“The ability to provide services to Associates and third parties is a real benefit to Member credit unions and enables us to provide core services to our Member credit unions at lower cost.  In her decision in the High Court, Justice Thomas noted that the evidence demonstrated that ‘Co-op Money NZ’s members derive significant benefit from services delivered to Associates and third parties’.”

Lynch adds that there is no right of appeal from the High Court’s decision and this clarity will now allow Co-op Money NZ to continue to serve Member credit unions, Associates and third parties throughout New Zealand with the latest, most cost-effective financial solutions.

“We have always considered that we were operating within our rules and within the parameters of the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982 (the Act).  We are pleased that the High Court has agreed with and affirmed our position.”

“The services we provide Member credit unions, Associates and third parties are a valuable part of our business.  For example, Co-op Money NZ is one of the first non-banks in the world to be granted the right to implement the tier 1 Oracle Flexcube banking platform – one of our Member credit unions ACU has successfully migrated onto Flexcube with NZCU Baywide to follow next.”

Lynch notes that while the outcome of the decision was very pleasing, Co-op Money NZ is still very focussed on seeking amendments to modernise the Act, with a Members Bill introduced by MP Stuart Smith currently before the Finance & Expenditure Committee.

“The Act is not fit for purpose and is unable to keep pace with technology or other modern business developments.  The Bill will update the Act to simplify compliance costs and better enable credit unions and associations to support their Members. We will continue to work closely with Mr Smith and others involved to have the Bill passed into law as soon as possible.”

Co-op Money NZ is the industry association for credit unions and mutual building societies (coopmoneynz.org.nz) and exists to represent, promote and support its Member credit unions and building societies around the country, and to provide cost-effective business services.

Co-op Money NZ and Member credit unions and mutual building societies are not registered banks.