Suncorp responds to ACCC’s rejection of bank sale to ANZ

Leaders "surprised and disappointed"

Suncorp responds to ACCC’s rejection of bank sale to ANZ

Insurance News

By Daniel Wood

Suncorp Group (Suncorp), the owner of one of Australia’s biggest insurance firms, has responded to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) decision to deny the sale of Suncorp Bank to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ).

“When we embarked on this transaction, we were of the firm belief it was in the best interests of our customers, shareholders and employees and that it would provide a net benefit to the Australian economy,” said Suncorp chair, Christine McLoughlin (pictured above).

In a media release McLoughlin said she her firm was “surprised and disappointed” with the decision.

"Together with external economic and industry experts, we determined that this deal would not adversely impact the competitive dynamics in the markets in which we operate,” she said.

The release said Suncorp plans to “fully support ANZ” when it appeals the determination to the Australian Competition Tribunal.

Steve Johnston, Suncorp Group CEO, said the decision meant employees, customers, shareholders and the broader Australian public “wouldn’t reap the many benefits the deal would deliver in the near term.”

The release said “should the Tribunal provide its approval” and subject to “all approvals being received”, the sale of the Suncorp’s banking division to ANZ would likely be completed mid-2024.

In announcing its decision earlier today, the ACCC said it wasn’t satisfied that the sale wouldn’t lessen competition.

“We are not satisfied that the acquisition is not likely to substantially lessen competition in the supply of home loans nationally, small to medium enterprise banking in Queensland, and agribusiness banking in Queensland,” said Mick Keogh, ACCC deputy chair.

He said banking markets “are critical for many homeowners” and for Queensland businesses and farmers.

“Competition being lessened in these markets will lead to customers getting a worse deal,” said Keogh.

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