Should Suncorp Be Allowed To Go South?

This week’s decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal permitting the sale of Suncorp Bank to ANZ represents a missed opportunity to create an Australian people’s bank.

The need for a people’s bank in Australia has been strongly argued by Senator Malcolm Roberts for many years. A people’s bank would help preserve the use of cash, ensure essential banking services are provided in markets where penny-pinching commercial banks refuse to operate, and also ensure against a new aspect of left-wing cancel culture – ‘de-banking’, or the closure of basic banking services to individuals or corporations due to activism.

The need for a people’s bank is growing, particularly in regional areas. Over the past five years, the number of bank branches in regional Australia has fallen by 25%.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year ruled the proposed sale of Suncorp to ANZ would reduce banking competition. The Tribunal this week disagreed and allowed the merger.

There’s a twisted sort of logic to the decision. Australian banks are at best a cartel and at worst a monopoly – one bank with many logos. They don’t compete; they cooperate to drive down competition from outside their cartel. It’s a result of foreign banks owning controlling shares in all of Australia’s big banks. These predatory foreign entities also enjoy handsome dividends from Australian banks’ obscene profits (collectively about $35 billion last year).

One Nation will continue to advocate and campaign for the establishment of an Australian people’s bank to guarantee essential banking services for every Australian.

Opinion piece from Senator Malcolm Roberts about the proposed merger of Suncorp bank- a formerly Queensland Government owned bank - people’s bank. The sale and merger of the bank will not bode well for the Queensland economy.