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ANZ’s major $4.9 billion Suncorp takeover gets tick of approval: 'Significant milestone'

ANZ will become the country’s third biggest bank once the takeover is completed next month.

ANZ
Treasurer Jim Chalmers has given his tick of approval for the ANZ takeover. (Source: AAP)

ANZ has received approval from the Federal Treasurer for its $4.9 billion takeover of Suncorp’s banking arm. The move will be subject to strict conditions, including ensuring branches and jobs are protected.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the decision came after “careful consideration [and] much deliberation”. It comes after the major bank successfully overturned the competition watchdog’s opposition to the takeover.

“I received very clear advice from Treasury, APRA, ASIC and the Department of Home Affairs that it wouldn’t be in the national interest to prohibit this transaction,” Chalmers said.

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The approval is being made on the condition that ANZ and Suncorp maintain their regional branch numbers throughout Australia for three years.

It is also a condition that there will be no net job losses as a result of the takeover for three years.

ANZ will be required to continue its “ongoing best efforts” to reach an agreement with Australia Post to offer Bank@Post services to its customers. It must also ensure proper engagement with employees and the Finance Sector Union.

ANZ CEO Shayne Elliot said the bank was "one step closer" to welcoming Suncorp Bank customers into the group.

"This is a significant milestone in our plans to expand our presence in Queensland and bring the best of ANZ to Suncorp Bank customers,” Elliot said.

“Suncorp Bank customers will continue to receive the same great service, from the same exceptional Suncorp Bank staff.

“Over time, we’ll make available to them ANZ’s leading technology, giving them access to the very latest in banking services.”

Finance Sector Union president Wendy Streets welcomed the approval and said the conditions gave finance workers "greater job security during what is a challenging process".

“Importantly, vital banking services will be protected in regional communities, something that is desperately needed amid the slew of regional bank closures we’ve seen take place in recent years," Streets said.

The move will mean ANZ will become the third biggest bank in Australia, overtaking NAB.

Completion of the acquisition is expected to happen at the end of July.

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