ANZ, Suncorp welcome acquisition green light

Decision to authorise sale of Suncorp Bank 'will benefit Queensland'

ANZ, Suncorp welcome acquisition green light

Both ANZ and Suncorp Group have applauded the Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision today to authorise ANZ to acquire Suncorp Bank.

The decision by the ACT to allow the deal to proceed, overturning the ACCC’s call to reject the acquisition, means the 17-month long process, which started when ANZ signed an agreement to buy Suncorp Bank in July 2022, is almost complete.

Commenting on the tribunal’s decision on Tuesday, ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott (pictured above left) said it was a significant milestone and an important step forward in the process.

“However, we still have further conditions to meet,” Elliot said in a statement released to the ASX. “We remain committed to completing the acquisition as soon as possible once all sale conditions are met.”

“Suncorp Bank is a high-quality business with a strong team and excellent customer base, and we look forward to bringing them access to the best of ANZ, including our platforms and technology.

“We strongly believe that the acquisition presents significant opportunities for ANZ, Suncorp Bank and our customers, as well as major public benefits including for Queensland.”

Completion of ANZ’s acquisition of Suncorp Bank remains subject to legislative amendments by the Queensland Parliament and approval by the Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers.

ANZ signed an agreement to purchase Suncorp Bank in July 2022, with the aim of accelerating the growth of ANZ’s retail and commercial businesses while offering better outcomes for Suncorp Bank customers.

In August 2023, the ACCC rejected ANZ’s $4.9 billion proposal to acquire Suncorp Bank, citing concerns about the deal lessening competition in the “supply of home loans nationally, small to medium enterprise banking in Queensland, and agribusiness banking in Queensland.”

Both ANZ and Suncorp Group disagreed with the ACCC’s decision and announced they would seek an independent review through the Australian Competition Tribunal. The tribunal’s decision was released today, February 20.

Suncorp Group welcomes tribunal decision to allow sale

Suncorp Group also welcomed the tribunal’s decision to give the green light to Suncorp Bank’s sale to ANZ.

In a statement to the ASX, Suncorp Group chairman Christine McLoughlin said Suncorp would continue to work constructively with the Queensland Government and Federal Treasury to secure the remaining approvals.

McLoughlin said the Tribunal decision reflected the importance of strong, sustainable insurance and banking systems equipped to meet the changing needs of customers, communities and the broader economy.

“It's also a big win for Queensland with both Suncorp and ANZ announcing significant jobs and investment packages as part of the bank sale process,” McLoughlin said.

“Suncorp’s package, worth around $25 million, will not only bring continued investment and jobs in the state of Queensland, but through further investment in our end-to-end disaster management capability and natural hazard resilience initiatives, will bring benefits to customers and communities right across Australia and New Zealand.

“Importantly, our bank customers will have access to a wider range of products and services, and our people a broader range of banking career opportunities under ANZ, which has committed to maintaining and growing Suncorp Bank’s strong Queensland presence.”

McLoughlin said post completion the Suncorp Board remained committed to returning to shareholders any capital in excess to the needs of the business.

Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston (pictured above right) said the sale of the bank would result in Suncorp becoming a dedicated Trans-Tasman insurance company at a time when the value of insurance and the need for continued investment in a vibrant private insurance sector had never been greater.

“Our ability to meet the rapidly evolving needs of insurance customers and address increasingly complex challenges such as climate change and affordability will be significantly strengthened through dedicated investment as a pureplay insurance company,” Johnson said.

He said the Group remained fully committed to Suncorp Bank while the process continued.

The sale of Suncorp Bank remains subject to the amendment of the State Financial Institutions and Metway Merger Act and final approval from the Federal Treasurer under the Financial Sector (Shareholdings) Act. If received, completion is expected around mid-2024.

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