Investment and M&A | Regulation | Giants | ACCC raises regulatory concerns over the merger of ANZ and Suncorp, two major banks.

Recently, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) raised explicit concerns about the merger between ANZ Bank and Suncorp Bank, temporarily suggesting that the merger may not be in the best interest of the public, and requested that they submit detailed explanations and evidence.

At the same time, the ACCC wanted to know why the merger was more advantageous than a merger with Bendigo Bank and Adelaide Bank, and a heavily redacted submission by Bendigo Bank’s head of mergers and Acquisitions, Cameron Stewart, suggested that, in Bendigo Bank’s view, if given the opportunity, Bendigo Bank had been prepared to work with Suncorp Group and could have made a competitive offer for Bendigo relatively quickly.

Mr. Mick Keogh, Deputy Chairman of ACCC, has stated that the ACCC has now released its preliminary views for further consideration and is calling for industry and consumer submissions on the potential competition effects of the proposed acquisition, including the extent to which the merger will affect loan and deposit rates, fees and charges, consumer choice, service levels, and innovation, among others. ACCC also notes that while small banks have increased their market share to around 14% over the past decade, they cannot compete with large banks, particularly affecting banks and residents in remote areas of Australia. (The picture is from the Australian Financial Review)

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