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Foreign lender granted banking licence

A new lender is now operating as a foreign ADI after being granted a licence from APRA.

The Australian subsidiary of UK-based Investec Bank Plc has been successful in its application to operate as a foreign authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) in the country, effective today (Monday, 1 July).

Investec, which was founded in Johannesburg, South Africa, has been operating locally as a non-bank subsidiary of its parent group, providing advice and capital to companies in the resources, power, infrastructure and property sectors. 

“Investec has been operating in Australia for more than 20 years, but this is the first time it has been able to offer clients full access to its parent’s balance sheet and specialist capabilities,” the bank said in a statement.

The local bank will initially draw on the balance sheet of its parent company, which is publicly listed in Johannesburg and London, and will start accepting deposits in a year’s time. 

“The move is transformational as we will now be able to provide clients with greater international reach, a stronger balance sheet, and access to deeper pools of expertise,” Investec Australia CEO Milton Samios said.

The bank had offloaded its professional finance and asset finance and leasing businesses to BOQ in April 2014 for $440 million. 

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Investec is the third foreign lender to be authorised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in 2019.

French lender Societe Generale was granted a banking licence earlier in May this year, after APRA authorised China Everbright Bank in January. 

Challenger banks have also been recently ramping up activity in Australia as regulators push to promote competition. Judo, Volt and Xinja Bank were all granted a full ADI licence this year, with 86 400 also expected to be authorised.

Note: The story has been updated to clarify that Investec's Australian business is structured as a subsidiary of UK-based Investec Bank Plc. 

[Related: APRA grants banking licence to foreign lender]

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