What might ANZ’s Suncorp deal mean for competition among ASX 200 banks?

Friends at an ATM looking sad.Friends at an ATM looking sad.

A planned merger between Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) and Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN)’s Suncorp Bank will undoubtably bring about a major shift among ASX 200 bank shares.

If successful, the $4.9 billion takeover proposal will see one of Queensland’s regional lenders incorporated into the ‘big four’ bank. Commentators believe that would put focus on a potential merger between the state’s remaining regional majors, reports the Australian Financial Review.

Looking beyond potential roll-on mergers, the takeover also represents a test for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It will also shrink the already tiny playing field in which ASX 200 banks operate.

Let’s take a look at what ANZ’s proposed merger with Suncorp Bank could mean for other ASX 200 bank shares.

Are more ASX 200 bank mergers on the cards?

ASX 200 banking giant ANZ proposed to snap up Suncorp’s banking business for $4.9 billion on Monday in a move that could leave the Queensland-based financial services company an insurance pure play.

And that could start the ball rolling for some big changes on the ASX 200. According to the AFR, it has the potential to turn attention to a merger between Bank of Queensland Ltd (ASX: BOQ) and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN). The pair are valued at around $4.6 billion and $5.5 billion respectively.

The deal could also put such smaller ASX 200 bank shares further on the back foot. It would, of course, see a member of the ‘big four’ carving out a larger slice of the market. That could concern the ACCC and its recently appointed chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.

Though, it’s worth mentioning that ANZ is by far the smallest member of the quartet. It boasts a market capitalisation of around $60 billion, $100 billion less than that of the largest ‘big four’ bank.

Additionally, ANZ held just 14% of the Australian mortgage market in 2021, while Suncorp Bank had a hold of around 2%, according to research by Statista.

Even combined, their market position would be dwarfed by that of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) (26%) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) (22%).

Suncorp Bank’s potential shift from Suncorp’s Brisbane office to ANZ’s Melbourne headquarters has also raised eyebrows.

The CEO of Queensland lender Heritage Bank Peter Lock told the AFR the merger would further remove banks from lenders outside of Sydney and Melbourne, thereby potentially disadvantaging customers.

The post What might ANZ’s Suncorp deal mean for competition among ASX 200 banks? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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