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Tribunal approves ANZ’s takeover of Suncorp Bank

A tribunal has ruled whether ANZ can proceed with its $4.9 billion plan to takeover Suncorp Bank.

user iconNaomi Neilson 20 February 2024 Big Law
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The Australian Competition Tribunal approved the takeover on Tuesday (20 February) morning, having found the proposed acquisition “would not likely have the effect of lessening competition” within the national home loans and agribusiness banking markets.

Justice John Halley, together with Dr Jill Walker and Diana Eilert, said the proposed acquisition would “constitute real and tangible benefits to the public” and represent a “saving of real resources”.

“The tribunal is satisfied that the proposed acquisition represents a net public benefit because any detriments arising from any reduction in competition are unlikely to be sufficiently certain and significant,” the members determined.


The decision overturned the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) rejection of the takeover in August 2023.

At the time, the regulator warned approving the takeover would “further entrench an oligopoly market structure”.

Bendigo Bank also opposed the application, submitting the takeover would consolidate ANZ’s market position and structural advantages it has as a major bank, “without engaging in competition, to the substantial detriment of competition” in the home loans markets.

The tribunal rejected the “coordinated effort” of both Bendigo and ACCC to have the acquisition opposed, ruling instead any market increase “would not have a meaningful impact on the degree of likelihood of the major banks engaging in successful coordination”.

This is because “Suncorp Bank is not a particularly strong competitor in the home loans market”, and its agribusiness offering is “not particularly unique or unable to be replicated”.

Justice Halley added they were satisfied ANZ would remain constrained by competitors like NAB and Rabobank.

Pending approval from the Treasurer and the Queensland government, ANZ can move further into the home loan market while the smaller bank turns its primary focus onto insurance.