Australian CU Told To Turn Over Member List

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This country's Administrative Appeals Tribunal has upheld a ruling by a government agency that a credit union must turn over a list of its membership to a competing building society that is seeking to take it over.

The publicly-traded Mackay Permanent Building Society has been seeking what is essentially a hostile takeover of Capricornia Credit Union and has demanded a list of members' names and addresses in order to make its solicitation directly. The credit union's board has rebuffed both Mackay Permanent's direct offer to the board, and its request for the membership list. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission, which regulates both institutions, had ordered Capricornia to provide the lists, an order the credit union rejected as it appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. CCU told local media it will appeal to the Federal Court.

Australia's CUs do not have a tax exemption and operate under the same regulations as banks. In September, members of Capricornia voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bylaw requiring greater safeguards on member privacy and that at least 25% of members cast votes on any plan to demutualize.

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