Suncorp Group Limited (Suncorp) has announced that it has signed a share sale and purchase agreement with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) to sell its banking business.
This includes its $47 billion of home loans, $45 billion in deposits and $11 billion in commercial loans.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals from the Federal Treasurer and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, includes a cash sale of Suncorp Bank to ANZ for $4.9 billion ($1.3 billion of goodwill paid above net tangible assets).
It will see the bank continue to operate under the Suncorp Bank brand (pursuant to a licensing agreement between ANZ and the Group for a period of five years following completion), with ANZ saying it intends to operate it as a separate business for a period of at least three years.
As such, a minimum fee of $50 million also forms part of the deal for the use of the Suncorp Bank brand, to be received over time (representing $10 million per year under the Brand Licence Agreement between the group and ANZ).
Suncorp Bank will continue to be led by CEO Clive van Horen who will report to ANZ’s chief executive officer and join ANZ’s Executive Committee post-completion.
It is expected that completion of the deal will take around 12 months (on track for "second half of calendar year 2023"), during which time Suncorp Group will continue to run the bank.
Suncorp to focus on insurance moving forward
The sale comes following a "review" of the group's banking operations.
The group has now stated that it will be primarily focusing on insurance - and Suncorp’s insurance operations (including its other brands AAMI, GIO, Shannons, Apia and Vero) in both Australia and New Zealand will not form part of the transaction.
Suncorp chairman Christine McLoughlin said: “We believe the agreed price fairly values the bank and reflects the hard work of our people and progress made on delivering our strategic objectives.
“Our purpose of building futures and protecting what matters – the focus of our company for over 100 years – will remain at our core and enable our people to deliver on our vision to create the leading Trans-Tasman insurance company.”
Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said: “As a dedicated insurance business, we will be singularly focused on meeting the needs of our customers and communities at a time when the value of insurance has never been greater.
“We acknowledge the needs of insurance customers are rapidly changing, with a preference for digital interactions and for product design to take into account personal circumstances and risk profiles. At the same time, the external environment has seen more frequent and severe natural hazard events resulting in increased costs and affordability challenges.
“Suncorp will continue to be at the forefront of advocating for a more resilient Australia and for all levels of Government to focus on mitigating the impacts of major weather events through improved public infrastructure, subsidies to improve private dwellings and an overhaul of planning laws.”
Mr Johnston said the decision to divest the bank had not been taken lightly and had been informed by extensive analysis and consideration.
“By combining with a larger banking group, Suncorp Bank will be well positioned for the future. Customers will see benefits including access to a wider range of products and services, and career opportunities will be enhanced for our people. ANZ is committed to growing its presence in Queensland and I am pleased about the commitments they are making to our customers and employees.
“Suncorp Group remains fully committed to supporting the Bank until completion of the sale.”
The group’s head office will continue to be in Queensland.
ANZ and Suncorp said they were committed to “maintain the strong current presence of Suncorp Bank in Queensland and further invest in people and a range of initiatives in the state”.
- Allocating $15 billion of new lending as part of ANZ’s existing renewable lending commitments to support Queensland renewable projects and green Olympic Games infrastructure over the next decade.
- $10 billion of new lending for energy projects particularly those targeting bioenergy and hydrogen over the next decade.
- $10 billion of lending made available to support Queensland businesses over the next three years.
ANZ chief executive officer Shayne Elliott said: “The acquisition of Suncorp Bank will be a cornerstone investment for ANZ and a vote of confidence in the future of Queensland.
“With much of the work to simplify and strengthen the bank completed, and our digital transformation well-progressed, we are now in a position to invest in and reshape our Australian business. This will result in a stronger more balanced bank for customers and shareholders.
“We have admired the transformation that has occurred under the leadership of Steve Johnston and Clive van Horen, and believe Suncorp Bank is a natural fit with ANZ given its culture, risk appetite and customer focus.
“ANZ has licenced the Suncorp Bank brand for five to seven years and we are committed to maintaining its current branch footprint in Queensland for at least three years post-completion.
“This is a growth strategy for ANZ and we will continue to invest in Suncorp Bank and in Queensland for the benefit of all stakeholders."
ANZ has said there will be no changes to the total number of Suncorp Bank branches in Queensland for at least three years from completion.
It added there would be no planned changes to employment conditions, suggesting that the acquisition would not result in any net job losses in Queensland for Suncorp.
To help fund the acquisition, the major bank has announced a fully underwritten pro rata accelerated renounceable entitlement offer to raise around $3.5 billion of ANZ shares.