Australia ME agrees takeover from Bank of Queensland

04:10  22 february  2021
04:10  22 february  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Bank of Queensland chief executive George Frazis is expected to expand the bank ’s loan portfolio by about 50 per cent as it swoops on ME Bank , in an ambitious takeover aimed at bulking up the regional bank ’s scale. After BoQ last week said it was launching a capital raising to fund the acquisition Mr Wamsteker, who lead ME Bank from 2000 to 2009, said the boutique lender was initially established to create loyalty between super funds and their members. “When ME bank was set up, the industry funds were not fledging but young in their history. Now they have much greater maturity, much greater

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ME Bank has agreed to a $1.325 billion takeover from Bank of Queensland, believing it will create a "genuine banking alternative powerhouse".

a close up of a sign: Melbourne-based ME Bank has agreed to a $1.325 billion takeover from the Bank of Queensland. © Dan Peled/AAP PHOTOS Melbourne-based ME Bank has agreed to a $1.325 billion takeover from the Bank of Queensland.

Under the acquisition, which is expected to be finalised by August, ME's Melbourne-based presence will be retained and will not affect or change existing customers' account arrangements.

ME Bank's shareholders, who represent 26 of Australia's industry super funds, unanimously endorsed BOQ's offer, which was recommended by the board.

"The board determined that the proposal from BOQ, which highly values what has been built by ME, was in the best interests of our shareholders and the transaction was unanimously supported by them," ME Bank chairman James Evans said.

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Get today's Bank Of Queensland Ltd. stock price and latest BOQ news as well as Bank Of Queensland . real-time stock quotes, technical analysis, full financials and more. Bank of Queensland Limited (BOQ) is an Australia-based regional bank . The Company’s operating segments include retail banking , BOQ business and other. The retail banking solutions to customers are managed through its Owner Managed and Corporate branch network, third party intermediaries’ and Virgin Money distribution channels.

Mr Evans said BOQ and ME were a natural fit, both being home-grown banks with a range of simple and easy to understand banking products.

"They both offer a genuine alternative to the big banks," he said.

BOQ said the acquisition would be funded by an underwritten capital raising of $1.35 billion.

The combined group will have total assets of more than $88 billion and total deposits of about $56 billion.

"Today's announcement is another major step in our strategy to be the leading customer-centric alternative to the big banks," BOQ chairman Patrick Allaway said.

"With the addition of the ME Bank business, BOQ now has material scale and a compelling growth platform to support this ambition."

Finance Sector Union national secretary Julia Angrisano said its focus would be on securing the best job security outcomes for ME staff.

The union wants a 12-month moratorium to protect jobs, a commitment to redeployment opportunities across the broader Bank of Queensland Group and that the bank does the right thing by ME Bank employees.

"It is important that the new owners recognise that while they are buying the trusted ME brand, the bank's loan book and its depositors' accounts, it is also taking over the livelihoods of the staff," Ms Angrisano said.

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