Australia’s Competition Regulator Delays ANZ-Suncorp Bank Merger Decision

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By Alice Uribe

SYDNEY–Australia’s competition regulator has delayed its decision on ANZ Group’s proposed acquisition of Suncorp Group’s banking unit by a week.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Monday said the review period was extended to Aug. 4 from July 28 to allow it to consider a supplementary independent report on the potential deal and a second submission from Bendigo & Adelaide Bank.

“The ACCC usually has 90 days from the date that the application was lodged to make its decision, although it can extend the time frame if the applicants agree,” the regulator said in an update on its website.

“ANZ agreed to a further short extension to the time frame for the ACCC to make a decision.”

ANZ in July 2022 said it agreed to buy Suncorp’s bank for about 4.9 billion Australian dollars (US$3.30 billion), in a deal the Australian major lender said could accelerate the growth of its retail and commercial businesses.

Some industry participants view the potential for the merger to lessen competition in the Australian banking sector. ANZ and Suncorp Bank offer retail and business banking products and services in Australia, including home loans, deposit products and business banking.

This is the second time the ACCC has extended the review period on the merger, after the regulator pushed it out to July from June.

Suncorp on Monday said it will continue to support the merger authorization process and maintained the view that “the sale is in the best interests of its customers, shareholders and employees and will deliver public benefits for Queensland and the broader Australian public.”

Write to Alice Uribe at [email protected]

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