Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Seeks Merger with Suncorp's Banking Unit
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank plans to merge with Suncorp's banking unit to increase competition and benefit shareholders. ANZ challenges regulator's decision on merger.
Sydney - Bendigo and Adelaide Bank announced that it is capable of making an attractive bid for Suncorp Group's banking unit. This comes ahead of a hearing regarding the Australian competition regulator's decision to block ANZ Group's bid for Suncorp's bank.
Bendigo emphasized the "compelling incentives" for a potential merger between itself and Suncorp's bank in its submission to the Australian Competition Tribunal. The regional lender stated that it has the ability to make a compelling offer for Suncorp Bank, which would benefit the shareholders of both companies. Furthermore, Bendigo believes that a merged Bendigo/Suncorp Bank would significantly boost competition against the major banks.
The rejection of ANZ's proposed acquisition of Suncorp's bank by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in August was based on concerns about reduced competition in Australia's home-loan market. In contrast, the competition regulator suggested that a merger between Bendigo and Suncorp's bank would create a stronger second-tier bank, prompting a more robust competitive response from the major banks.
ANZ has filed an application in August for the competition tribunal to review the regulator's decision on its bid to merge with Suncorp's bank. ANZ believes that the merger would lead to a stronger bank that can effectively respond to competitive pressures, ultimately benefiting consumers.
The competition regulator, in a submission dated Nov. 27 and published on Thursday, maintains its position that blocking ANZ's bid is justified due to concerns of increased concentration in the mortgage market.
Bendigo, in its submission, states that if ANZ's bid is unsuccessful, there is a commercially viable chance of a merger between Suncorp and Bendigo. It also acknowledges significant and credible communication between the parties regarding such a merger.
Suncorp and ANZ have submitted rebuttals to arguments in favor of a potential Bendigo and Suncorp merger.