ANZ gets Treasurer’s tick of approval for Suncorp takeover

ANZ Suncorp Treasurer approval takeover acquisition

ANZ is a step closer to its proposed $4.9b takeover of tier-two rival Suncorp Bank, with Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers today approving the acquisition.

Today’s sign-off by Treasurer Chalmers comes nearly two years after ANZ’s initial bid to buy out the Queensland-based Suncorp bank.

It also follows a decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal in February to authorise the proposed takeover, as well as the introduction of legislative amendments to Queensland law (the Metway Merger Act) on 14 June 2024 required to proceed with the merger.

Australia’s competition regulator, the ACCC, last year denied ANZ’s takeover proposal, with this decision subsequently overturned by the Competition Tribunal six months later.

ANZ and Suncorp have indicated a completion date of 31 July 2024 for the finalisation of the acquisition.

The merger requires just one more step before it is finalised, awaiting the commencement of the Queensland State Financial Institutions and Metway Merger Amendment Act that amends the Metway Merger Act.

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott hailed the Treasurer’s go-ahead as a “significant milestone in our plans to expand our presence in Queensland and bring the best of ANZ to Suncorp Bank customers”.

“We are another step closer to welcoming Suncorp Bank customers into the ANZ Group.

“Suncorp Bank customers will continue to receive the same great service, from the same exceptional Suncorp Bank staff.

“Over time, we’ll make available to them ANZ’s leading technology, giving them access to the very latest in banking services,” Elliott said.

Federal Government approval for acquisition is contingent on a number of conditions being met by ANZ, including that:

  • it will maintain its and Suncorp Bank’s regional branch numbers throughout Australia for three years.
  • there will be no net job losses in Australia as a direct result of the acquisition for three years. This is consistent with our plans for integrating Suncorp Bank and its customers.
  • it will continue its ongoing best efforts to reach an agreement with Australia Post, on a commercial basis, to offer Bank@Post services to its customers.

Given these conditions, Suncorp said it had agreed to waive the $10 million per annum brand license fee that ANZ was to pay over the next five years.

“Looking ahead, we’re pleased to be one step closer to this strategically important acquisition which will allow us to add scale to our Retail and Commercial businesses while enabling ANZ to more effectively compete in the Australian market,” Elliott said.

“Our plans for the integration are well advanced and we are confident of the substantial benefits that will flow.”

Suncorp Group chief executive Steve Johnston welcomed the final step of its divestment of its banking arm, noting it was an “important step towards Suncorp Group becoming a dedicated Trans-Tasman insurer”.

“Following completion, Suncorp will focus on meeting the evolving needs of insurance customers and addressing increasingly complex challenges such as climate change and affordability,” Johnston said.