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Treasurer approves ME Bank acquisition

The federal Treasurer has granted approval for a non-major bank to hold a controlling stake of 100 per cent in Members Equity Bank Limited.

In February, BOQ announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the issued share capital in ME Bank for cash consideration of $1.325 billion payable at completion. 

The acquisition was subject to regulatory approval from the Treasurer.

Now that this has been granted, the deal will take effect in the coming days and is expected to complete on 1 July 2021. 

Prior to completion, BOQ and ME Bank will continue to operate as separate businesses with no immediate changes expected for customers of either business.  

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When ME Bank becomes part of the BOQ Group, it is expected that it will continue to operate with its own "well-recognised" brand and Australian-based customer service team. 

BOQ Group chairman Patrick Allaway said: “The acquisition of ME Bank is a key step in our strategy to  be a compelling alternative to the big banks. It is a defining moment in the transformation of BOQ Group, which will benefit our shareholders, customers and people.” 

BOQ Group managing director and CEO George Frazis said: “The addition of ME Bank to the BOQ Group will further strengthen our multi-brand strategy, deliver material scale, broadly double the size of our retail bank, and provide us with geographic diversification. We look forward to the ME Bank team formally joining the BOQ Group very soon.”  

Adam Crane, CEO of ME Bank, commented: “On a day-to-day basis, it is business as usual for ME customers. There will be no change to customers’ accounts or arrangements, nor the way they normally interact with ME Bank.  

“Being part of the BOQ Group will help us deliver on our purpose, ‘helping all Australians get ahead’. As home-grown banks, BOQ and ME are a natural fit, culturally aligned and offer a genuine alternative to the big banks. Importantly, we share common values and a customer-first ethos. 

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“As ME becomes WE, the team looks forward to continuing to support and service our customers and offering the simple and straightforward banking products that they want,” Mr Crane said.

On the basis that completion occurs on 1 July 2021, BOQ’s FY21 financial results will incorporate earnings from ME Bank for the period 1 July 2021 to 31 August 2021. BOQ’s current market guidance  communicated with the 1H21 financial results excludes the impact of these earnings.  

More to come.

[Related: BOQ completes equity raise to acquire ME Bank]

 
Treasurer approves ME Bank acquisition
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Annie Kane

Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.

As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts. 

Contact Annie at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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