Ebene News – UA – ME Bank signs deal with Bank of Queensland, shareholders said

Bank of Queensland reaches deal to fully acquire ME Bank, owned by industry pension fund, after months of speculation over whether the boutique lender was for sale

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald can reveal that major shareholders in ME Bank’s super fund received an email last week saying a deal with BoQ was on the table and on the verge of being finalized. be finalized The small shareholders of the bank were also asked to sell their shares and forced to sign non-disclosure agreements

The drive to sell ME Bank has been brewing for years, with the lender never paying dividends to shareholders and failing to reach the scale needed to compete with its business competitors

ME Bank has informed its shareholders of its intention to finalize a buyout agreement with the Bank of Queensland Credit: Luis Enrique Ascui

Sources said that although deal negotiations are at an advanced stage, there is no guarantee that it will be completed ANZ Banking Group has also been linked in the media to an offer for the society

“This is not 100% a done deal These things take time of course,” said a source with knowledge of the situation who could not speak publicly as the discussions are confidential “Banks are a little more complicated than regular limited liability companies But that’s about, it’s very close to a deal made”

Another source from a smaller fund, who could not be identified because she had signed a confidentiality agreement, said she was asked to sell her shares to BoQ. was not our initiative, “said the source” It was the board that made a decision on the future It’s quite difficult to be competitive with the big banks “

A third source who could not be named because she is not authorized to speak publicly, said there was a disagreement among the bank’s shareholders over whether to sell the active, with smaller funds wanting to keep it and larger funds pushing to divest

“The divide was between the bigger and the smaller,” the source said “AusSuper has always been a bit of a determinant of where they go and they’re the ones giving the boost”

“I’m actually quite angry with that,” said one of the sources. “Some of these people don’t seem to share the vision I’m assuming to create collective financial institutions”

“The problem here is that if you don’t get the scale you can’t pay for the online platform you need to have a mainstream interface that’s right for you”

Australian super fund giant AustralianSuper led the campaign to divest ME Bank in part because the boutique lender had become more complicated than it is worth “The careful control of this asset and the amount of money spent on reviews and legal advice is just plain insane “

Industry Super Australia chairman Greg Combet has worked as an advisor to the board of ME Bank, closely monitoring negotiations with chairman Jim Evans He was unable to comment on the deal due to confidentiality agreements that had been signed

Evans and Partners chief executive Matt Wilson said acquisition would increase BoQ’s loan portfolio by 56%, adding that BoQ may need to launch a $ 1.2 billion capital raise to merge the entities “M&A is notoriously difficult and disruptive for the acquirer,” he said

ME Bank appointed Adam Crane as Managing Director in August last year, succeeding Jamie McPhee who had held the position for over a decade

The management shake-up came after The Age and Sydney Morning Herald revealed that changes to the bank’s mortgage renewal policy had left thousands of customers without access to cash in the height of the pandemic

The report ultimately forced that policy to be reversed, but many customers told this masthead that they had lost faith in the bank’s management

ME Bank is part of a suite of larger funds in the industry including HESTA, Cbus, Hostplus, Unisuper, AustralianSuper and smaller funds such as NGS Super, TWU Super and First Super

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Bank of Queensland, ME Bank, Finance

Ebene News – UA – ME Bank signs deal with Bank of Queensland, shareholders said

Source: https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/me-bank-closing-in-on-deal-with-bank-of-queensland-shareholders-told-20210218-p573nr.html