Tribunal clears Suncorp Bank sale

"A dedicated Trans-Tasman insurance company" moves one step closer

Tribunal clears Suncorp Bank sale

Insurance News

By Daniel Wood

The Australian Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) has approved the sale of Suncorp Bank to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ).

Suncorp Group, the Australasian insurance and banking corporation based in Brisbane, is one of Australia's largest general insurers.

In a media release responding to the decision, Group CEO Steve Johnston (pictured above) said the sale of the bank would result in Suncorp becoming a dedicated Trans-Tasman insurance company.

He said the need for investment in the “vibrant” insurance sector has “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,” said Johnston.

This morning’s decision overturns an earlier ruling by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The ACCC rejected the sale because of concerns it would reduce competition.

According to Reuters, the Tribunal's deputy president, Justice John Halley, told the Federal Court in Sydney that the proposed deal was unlikely to substantially lessen competition in Australia's home lending market.

In their release, Suncorp Group Chairman Christine McLoughlin said the Tribunal’s decision “reflected the importance of strong, sustainable insurance and banking systems equipped to meet the changing needs of customers, communities and the broader economy.”

According to Suncorp’s release, the sale remains subject to the amendment of the State Financial Institutions and Metway Merger Act. The Federal Treasurer must also approve the sale.

News reports say ANZ’s proposed buyout is worth nearly A$5 billion.

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