ANZ’s takeover of Suncorp is blocked by the ACCC: ‘Decreased competition in these markets will lead to customers getting worse treatment’ Suncorp’s banking tie
- ANZ’s takeover of Suncorp has been blocked by the ACCC
- The regulator stated that it would not diminish competition
- ANZ and Suncorp can appeal the matter
The competition watchdog has refused to give ANZ permission to acquire Suncorp’s banking arm in a $4.9 billion deal that would have rocked the banking industry.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said on Friday it was not satisfied that the transaction would not lessen competition in the supply of home loans, small and medium-sized business banking in Queensland and agribusiness banking in Queensland.
“These banking markets are critical to many homeowners and to Queensland businesses and farmers in particular,” said ACCC Vice-Chairman Mick Keogh.
“Decreased competition in these markets will mean customers get a worse deal.”
Keogh said the regulator thought there was more likely to be coordination between the four main banks in providing home loans if Suncorp Bank becomes part of ANZ.
The ACCC has refused to give ANZ permission to acquire Suncorp’s banking arm (Suncorp Bank Melbourne branch pictured)
ANZ and Suncorp have the option of appealing the matter to the Australian Competition Tribunal or the Federal Court.
“Naturally we are disappointed and disagree with the ACCC’s decision,” ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott said in a statement.
We are closely reviewing the determination and will seek an independent decision through the review avenues available to us.
“We believe the acquisition will improve competition, which will benefit Australian consumers, particularly in Queensland. All relevant markets are intensely competitive and will continue to be intensely competitive after the acquisition.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government respected the ACCC’s independence and would not comment.
The deal was first announced in July 2022.