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Treasury & Capital Markets
ANZ’s Suncorp Bank acquisition moves ahead
Australian tribunal overturns previous ACCC decision citing competition concerns
Tom King 20 Feb 2024

In a move that overturns the decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the Australian Competition Tribunal has found that the acquisition of Suncorp Bank by ANZ Group, Australia’s third-largest bank, meets the criteria of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The Melbourne-based bank now requires further approval under the 1998 Financial Sector Shareholdings Act (FSSA) to proceed with the acquisition.

In August of last year, the ACCC decided against ANZ’s proposed A$4.9 billion (US$3.2 billion) acquisition of Suncorp Bank, citing concerns that the acquisition would reduce competition in the sector.

ANZ originally entered into an agreement to purchase Suncorp Bank in July 2022, in a move the bank said would accelerate the growth of ANZ’s retail and commercial businesses.

The latest ruling followed an appeal by Melbourne-based ANZ and means the bank can now continue with its acquisition plans. However, ANZ’s takeover still requires approval by Australian treasurer Jim Chalmers and the government of Queensland, where Suncorp is headquartered.

Australian treasury minister Jim Chalmers, commenting on the tribunal findings, says: “Once I receive ANZ’s FSSA application and treasury advice, I will consider whether the proposed acquisition is in the national interest under the FSSA and then announce a decision in due course.”

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliot, who has been determined to acquire the banking arm of the Brisbane-based finance, insurance and banking group Suncorp, adds: “This is a significant milestone and an important step forward in the process; however, we still have further conditions to meet. We remain committed to completing the acquisition 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. The acquisition presents significant opportunities for ANZ, Suncorp Bank and our customers, as well as major public benefits, including for Queensland.”

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