ANZ-Suncorp deal to boost disaster resilience

Suncorp building Brisbane. | Newsreel
ANZ's takeover of Suncorp's banking operations has been approved. | Photo: Marlon Trottman (iStock)

Federal Government approval of the ANZ purchase of Suncorp’s banking operations will mean a boost to Queensland’s disaster resilience.

State Treasurer Cameron Dick said the approved takeover would leave Suncorp insurance with a bigger presence in Queensland, with increased investment in support services for disaster victims.

Treasurer Dick said the establishment of new Suncorp operations in Townsville and Brisbane were part of the deal struck with ANZ and Suncorp.

The Queensland Government commitments come on top of commitments imposed on ANZ by the Federal Government, including billions of dollars of new lending to support Queensland renewable energy projects and 2032 Olympic Games infrastructure builds.

Treasurer Dick said under the deal, Suncorp would now invest at least $19 million to establish a Disaster Response Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

“This includes investment in a new technology platform to better understand weather impacts, communicate with customers and impacted communities and improve Suncorp’s responses before, during and after weather events.”

He said at least $2 million would be spent building a Suncorp Regional Hub in Townsville, creating 120 new jobs, and $3 million would be invested in community and education initiatives focused on First Nations employment pathways and building skills in disaster resilience and emergency management.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers, in announcing today the ANZ proposal to acquire full ownership of Suncorp Bank from Suncorp Group could proceed, said he took into consideration competition concerns raised by the ACCC, but concluded it would not be likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition.

“This was an on balance call, consistent with advice I received from Treasury and regulators and following nearly two years of scrutiny and input from industry, the Finance Sector Union, the Queensland Government and other stakeholders,” Treasurer Chalmers said.

He said the Federal Government placed a series of conditions on the deal including $15 billion of lending and other commitments for Queensland renewable energy projects and to support infrastructure development in preparation for the 2032 Olympic Games.

Other lending commitments were:

  • $10 billion of new lending to support energy projects in Queensland, including bioenergy and hydrogen projects over the next decade.
  • $10 billion of lending to support Queensland businesses over the next three years.
  • Substantial home lending commitments in Queensland, including house lending targets of 3000 homes and $350 million in housing related lending.

Presence commitments included:

  • No changes to the total number of Suncorp Bank branches in Queensland for at least three years.
  • No regional ANZ branches closed Australia-wide for three years.
  • No regional Suncorp Bank branches closed Australia-wide for three years.
  • Arrangements with Australia Post: Suncorp Bank to renew its current agreement with Australia Post for the provision of Bank@Post services for a minimum of three years; and ANZ to make best endeavours to join Bank@Post on commercial terms for a minimum of three years.

Employment commitments included:

  • No net job losses across Australia in Suncorp Bank and ANZ, as a result of the transaction, for three years.
  • Provide employees affected by the acquisition with specialist support and maximise opportunities for redeployment and external placement.
  • Work with consumer advocates, community stakeholders, and the Finance Sector Union to minimise community concerns about the acquisition.
  • Physical office for an ANZ Queensland Managing Director.
  • Create a Tech Hub in Brisbane to employee at least 700 individuals for five years and at least 450 after five years.
  • Enter into an agreement with Google for ANZ and Google to: work with Queensland universities on curriculum initiatives; strengthening the focus on women in technology; create a cloud digital leader program for ANZ Queensland employees; and partner on reskilling initiatives.