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Australian bank mergers and acquisitions: Who owns my bank?

Find out the story behind each bank and how they came to be.

Ownership of banks and lenders has become more concentrated in recent years. In essence, the big banks own more of the pie than ever before, although an exception to this is ANZ which hasn’t made any significant acquisitions of smaller lenders or competitors.

For consumers looking for a better deal, it may be of concern that many of the alternative lenders are actually owned by the big three banks – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB – and that the banking goliaths are closing their nets. This matters, because the Australian government's Financial Claims Scheme (FCS), which guarantees the security of your money in banks up to $250,000 per institution, applies to a bank's subsidiaries as well. Without knowing which banks own what, your savings might not be as secure as you might think. In this article, we give you the full scoop on who owns what in Australian banking.

At a glance: Overview of Australian banking ownership

Commonwealth BankWestpacNABBank of QueenslandBendigo Bank
BankwestRAMSUBankVirgin MoneyAdelaide Bank
Aussie (as a major shareholder)St.GeorgeMLC Investec BankDelphi Bank
Colonial First StateBankSABank of New ZealandHome Building Society LtdRural Bank
Bank of Melbourne

As it happened: The story behind the conquests

NAB history

National Australia Bank came into being in 1982 from the merging of the National Bank of Australasia and the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. The following decade was marked by rapid expansion as it swiftly grew around the world, opening and closing offices in the US, Korea, Greece, Malaysia, Great Britain and elsewhere. In 1992 NAB solidified its market share in New Zealand by purchasing the Bank of New Zealand, which controlled about a quarter of the country's banking market at the time.

The next major push in Australia came in 2000 when NAB merged with MLC in a $4.5 billion deal which was then one of the most valuable mergers in corporate history. From there, NAB started focusing more closely on the domestic market and selling off assets overseas. UBank was created by NAB in 2008 as a branchless direct bank to help serve the growing market for online banking services.

In recent years NAB has redoubled efforts to focus on the Australian market, demerging and selling off major assets in the United States and Great Britain. Today, NAB is one of Australia's Big Four banks, with a strong focus on the domestic market but enough overseas reach to serve its customers in an increasingly connected age.

Currently, NAB owns UBank, MLC and Bank of New Zealand among others.

Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
NAB Classic Banking
Visa
$0
$0
Enjoy convenient, unlimited access to your money.
$0 monthly account fee.
Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card, NAB Pay for Android or NAB PayTag for iPhone. Temporarily block your card at the touch of a button if you lose it.
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
Visa
$0
$0
$10 cashback on contactless purchases, $0 foreign transaction fee and complimentary travel insurance.
$10 monthly account fee.
Receive $10 cashback when you spend $1000 on contactless purchases. Complimentary travel insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance and more when you meet eligibility criteria.
NAB Personal Overdrafts
Visa
$0
$0
Whenever you need a little extra money now and then.
NAB Retirement Account
Visa
$0
$0
A retirement account with easy access to your money.
NAB Business Everyday Account ($0 Monthly Fee Option)
Visa
$0
$0
Help manage your business finances.
$0 monthly account fee.
No ATM fees at more than 3,000 NAB and rediATMs, and unlimited standard NAB electronic transactions. Tap and pay with your NAB Business Visa Debit card and NAB Pay for Android smartphones. Apply online.

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Banks owned by Westpac

Westpac was Australia's first bank, established in 1817 as the Bank of New South Wales. It wasn't known as Westpac (short for Western Pacific) until about 150 years later when it merged with the Commercial Bank of Australia in 1982. The coming decades were marked by tumultuous ups and downs as its ownership of historical branches around the Pacific region was gradually reduced.

Westpac's growth was punctuated in 2008 when it purchased St.George Bank (which at the time owned BankSA) for $19 billion, as well as RAMS Home Loans. Bank of Melbourne was created in the following years, and along with BankSA, it operates as a partially separate brand to more closely serve local customers.

St.George Bank, RAMS, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA are currently among Westpac Banking Corporation's assets. As such, if you're banking with one of these, you can use any ATMs in the network without paying extra fees.

Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
Westpac Life
2.30%
1.50%
0.80%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.30% p.a. each month you deposit money, and make sure your balance is higher at the end of the month than it was at the beginning. No monthly account-keeping fee.
Westpac eSaver
2.51%
0.50%
2.01%
$0
$0 / $0
Total introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 0.50% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
Westpac eSaver Account - for migrants
2.51%
0.50%
2.01%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 0.50% p.a. Available on the entire balance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
RAMS Saver Account
2.80%
1.15%
1.65%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.80% p.a. when you deposit $200+ each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $500,000.

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Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
St.George Maxi Saver
2.85%
0.50%
2.35%
$0
$1 / $1
Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 0.50% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
St.George DIY Super Saver
2.00%
0.75%
1.25%
$0
$0 / $0
Earn a competitive interest rate on your superfund.
St.George Incentive Saver
2.00%
0.80%
1.20%
$0
$1 / $1
This account rewards you with bonus interest each month you grow your balance by at least $50, or $0.01 if you're under 21 years old.
St.George Investment Cash Account
0.45%
0.45%
0.00%
$0
$500,000 / $0
Ongoing, variable 0.45% p.a.. Available on balance $500,000 and over.
St.George Business Access Saver
0.50%
0.50%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 0.50% p.a. when you link to a St.George business transaction account. Available on the entire balance.

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Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
BankSA Maxi Saver
2.85%
0.50%
2.35%
$0
$1 / $1
Introductory rate of 2.85% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 0.50% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
BankSA Incentive Saver Account
2.00%
0.80%
1.20%
$0
$0 / $0
Earn bonus interest when each month your grow your balance by at least $50, or just $0.01 if you're under 21 years old.
BankSA Investment Cash Account
0.25%
0.25%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 0.25% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
BankSA DIY Super Saver
2.00%
0.75%
1.25%
$0
$0 / $1
Introductory rate of 2.00% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 0.75% p.a. Available on entire balance.
BankSA Business Access Saver
0.50%
0.50%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 0.50% p.a. when you link to a business transaction account. Available on the entire balance.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Bendigo Bank, as the name suggests, was created on the goldfields of Victoria in 1858 as a building society. In the following years it grew around Australia, merging with other groups as the country became more closely connected. Its services also grew and it transformed from a building society to a holistic bank with a strong community focus. The Bendigo Building Society (BBS), as it was known at the time, was the first bank in Australia to successfully introduce both Visa credit and debit cards, and in 1995 it was renamed Bendigo Bank to more closely match the wider services on offer.

In the face of challenges unique to rural areas and agricultural businesses, Bendigo Bank and Elders Australia came together to form Rural Bank, with a focus on agribusiness development.

The next significant change came in 2007 when Bank of Queensland made a takeover offer which was refused by Bendigo Bank. Instead, it merged with Adelaide Bank in a $4 billion deal, and in 2008 the company name was officially changed to Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited. In 2011 it acquired Bank of Cyprus operations in Australia and renamed it Delphi Bank

In keeping with its origins as a sustainable bank for Australians, in 2014 Bendigo Bank became the first in Australia to turn away from fossil fuel investments, and in 2015 it openly supported the building and funding of a mosque in its home town of Bendigo, with the bank chairman stating that the values of tolerance and inclusiveness were part of Bendigo Bank. As a community bank, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has shown that it's willing to stand up for its company values.

Bendigo Bank's assets currently include Adelaide Bank, Delphi Bank and Rural Bank.

Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
Bendigo Bank EasySaver Account
1.25%
1.25%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $1
Ongoing, variable 1.25% p.a. when you link to Bendigo Bank transaction account. Available on the entire balance.



Bendigo Bank CommunitySaver Account
1.25%
1.25%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $1
Ongoing, variable 1.25% p.a.. Available on the entire balance.
Bendigo Bank PiggySaver Account
1.25%
1.25%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $1
Ongoing, variable 1.25% p.a. .Available on the entire balance.
Designed for kids under 12.
Bendigo Bank Christmas Club Account
0.25%
0.25%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $1
Ongoing, variable 0.25% p.a.. Available on the entire balance.

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Commonwealth Bank acquires Bankwest and Colonial First State

Commonwealth Bank is not only one of the largest banks in Australia, it's also one of the single largest companies the country has ever seen, with ownership of well-known brands including Bankwest and Colonial First State. It opened its first branch in Melbourne in 1912 but offered an immediately expanded reach thanks to an agreement with Australia Post that still exists to this day in the form of Bank@Post facilities.

Coming decades saw more mergers as smaller organisations joined forces with Commonwealth Bank to help it become an integral part of Australia's financial landscape and weather the Great Depression, two World Wars and many other challenges. In 1959, Commonwealth Bank had become too large to serve as the nation's central bank as well as a business institution, and the Reserve Bank of Australia was created.

Privatisation continued over the years, until 1991 when both divisions were completely separate. The next big step came in March of 2000 when Commonwealth Bank and Colonial First State announced the intention to merge. This was swiftly completed, and by June both companies were under the same umbrella. In 2008, Commonwealth Bank announced that it had purchased Bankwest from a British banking company.

Today you can find Bankwest and Colonial First State services within the Commonwealth Bank. In addition to this, it currently holds about an 80% stake in Aussie Home Loans.

Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
Commonwealth Bank NetBank Saver
2.51%
0.50%
2.01%
$0
$1 / $1
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 0.50% p.a. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
Commonwealth Bank GoalSaver Account
2.30%
0.01%
2.29%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable interest rate up to 2.30% p.a. on balances $250,000 - $999,999 when you deposit at least $200 p/m with no withdrawals.
Commonwealth Bank Youthsaver Account
2.30%
0.50%
1.80%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.30% p.a. when you make at least one deposit with no withdrawals each month. Available on the entire balance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
Bankwest Hero Saver
2.60%
0.01%
2.59%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.60% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
Bankwest TeleNet Saver
2.70%
1.00%
1.70%
$0
$0 / $1
Introductory rate of 2.70% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available up to balance of $5,000,000.
Bankwest Smart eSaver
1.91%
0.01%
1.90%
$0
$0 / $1
Ongoing, variable 1.91% p.a. when you link to a Bankwest transaction account and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $500,000.
Bankwest Kids' Bonus Saver
4.75%
0.01%
4.74%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 4.75% p.a. when linked to a Bankwest Children's Savings Account and you deposit $25-$250 each month. Available for children under the age of 15.


Bankwest Children's Savings Account
2.50%
2.50%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.50% p.a. when you link to
Kids’ Bonus Saver from Bankwest. Available on balances $20,000 and over

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Beyond Bank is created

Beyond Bank is an organisation of many names, depending on which part of Australia you're located. The most widely known around the country is probably Community CPS Australia, but in parts of South Australia you might know it as Alliance, in New South Wales you may have seen it as Wagga Mutual Union or Companion Credit Union, while its presence in Western Australia goes by United Community Credit Union.

For obvious reasons, it brought all the names together under the title of Beyond Bank. Today it operates as an award-winning community bank, bringing the local focus on which it was built to each state it operates in.

Rates last updated October 23rd, 2018
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
Beyond Bank monEsaver Account
1.80%
1.80%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 1.80% p.a. available on balances $5,000 plus if you link a second account with Beyond Bank that allows for internal transfers between accounts. Earn higher interest on deposits $200,000+.
Beyond Bank Community Reward Account
1.00%
1.00%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 1.00% p.a.. Available on balance up to $4,999. Earn higher interest on deposits $5,000+ and $200,000+.

Beyond Bank Christmas Club Savings Account
0.75%
0.75%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 0.75% p.a.. Available on the entire balance.

Compare up to 4 providers

Mergers, acquisitions, renaming and everything else is all part of the banking business. As the world becomes more interconnected, the financial products and companies will inevitably change. The previous century was all about physical growth in order to become the biggest bank with the most customers.

Today you may see the opposite in effect. Bank branches cost money to maintain, and most people prefer to do their banking online or over the phone anyway. Online savings accounts are one example of how the industry responds to these changes. By doing it all online the banks can reduce their overhead costs and offer more competitive rates to customers.

Acquisitions are part of the business, and by comparing all the options, you as a customer can benefit. Switching banks has never been easier and the freedom to walk away is yours.

Adrian Barclay

Adrian spends most of his working hours writing about home loans and everything property, as well as interviewing finance experts.

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58 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MichealOctober 6, 2018

    Tire 1 regulations enforced by Reserve Bank overfinancial institutions ——-Does the Reserve Bank impose impose higher deposit percentage amounts on Bank of Queensland for it’s RB guarantee as compared to what it does for the larger 4 Aussie Banks?

    • finder Customer Care
      MayOctober 8, 2018Staff

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you’re pertaining to the amount of deposits the customers are required to have in their account which is guaranteed by the government, then no. The Australian Government has guaranteed deposits up to $250,000 and this applies to all Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) such as your bank, building society or credit union, including the Bank of Queensland. You can read more about government guarantee on deposits on the ASIC website here.

      Otherwise, if you’re checking whether the Tier 1 capital that consists of the funding sources to which BOQ can most freely allocate losses, best to get in touch about this with Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). I’m afraid we have limited information with regard to Tier 1 regulations on capital over financial institutions in Australia.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  2. Default Gravatar
    Caz60September 26, 2018

    Who owns ING bank and is it covered under the ADI?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynSeptember 26, 2018Staff

      Hello,

      Thank you for your comment.

      ING uses the trading name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited, is wholly owned by ING Group. ING holds an Australian banking licence since 1994 and is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), like all banks. They are guaranteed by the Australian Government. I hope this helps.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  3. Default Gravatar
    May 20, 2018

    Who owns maquarie bank?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniMay 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Thomas,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice.

      Macquarie is listed in Australia (ASX:MQG) and is regulated by Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Australian banking regulator, as the owner of Macquarie Bank Limited, an authorised deposit taker.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  4. Default Gravatar
    SteveMay 1, 2018

    What guarantee do people have who have OVER $250,000?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniMay 1, 2018Staff

      Hi Steve,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      The Australian Government guarantees deposits up to $250,000 in Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) such as banks, building societies or credit unions. This means that this money is guaranteed if the institution collapses.

      This cap applies per person and per ADI. If you have separate accounts with different protected banks with less than $250,000 in them, you will be covered for both accounts. If you have more than $250,000 in a single account, you won’t be covered for the amount over $250,000. If you have $250,000 with two different “brands” but they’re operated under the same ADI, you’ll only get $250,000 in total.

      To read more about this, please check out this link.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  5. Default Gravatar
    PeterMarch 12, 2018

    I received a financial news letter that stated ” under existing legislation, all four big banks are seen as a single ‘ADI’” and as a result deposits are not guaranteed above a cumulative $250,000.
    Is this the case?

    • finder Customer Care
      MayMarch 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Just for a clarification, when you have 250,000 with two different “brands” but they’re operated under the same ADI, you’ll only get $250,000 in total as guarantee. We have an article on this page that explains:

      The government guarantee covers the underlying ADI, and not different brands. Some ADIs offer multiple accounts under different brand names (like Westpac and St.George). If you have multiple accounts under different brand names but all under one ADI, the guarantee only applies to the ADI and not the different brands.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      May

  6. Default Gravatar
    JoDecember 18, 2017

    Who owns Citibank and are deposits guaranteed with them?

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlDecember 23, 2017

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for your question.

      Citibank in Australia is part of Citigroup Inc., an American multinational investment banking and financial services corporation.

      Deposits in Citibank are covered by government guarantee up to $250,000 per person, per institution.

      Regards,
      Liezl

  7. Default Gravatar
    PaulMarch 27, 2017

    Is the ME Bank (owned by the Industry Super Funds parent) an Approved Deposit Institution. I’m asking because I must have the govt. guarantee. Thanks

    • Default Gravatar
      ericApril 24, 2017

      Anndy(?) ,

      “..of up to $250,000 per person, per institution” means exactly that, they may pay up to, but given the small (SIC) amount available to cover the far larger amount in investments, they cannot!

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMay 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The Australian Government has guaranteed deposits up to $250,000 in Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs). This means that this money is guaranteed if anything happens to the ADI.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMarch 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your question.

      ME Bank is owned by industry super funds and isn’t owned by a specific bank.

      ME Bank savings accounts have a government guarantee of up to $250,000 per person, per institution.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  8. Default Gravatar
    PamFebruary 16, 2017

    Who owns ING Direct as at 2017? It seems it was acquired by ANZ in 2009.I can’t find any up to date information if this is still the case.

    • finder Customer Care
      LouFebruary 17, 2017Staff

      Hi Pam,

      Thanks for your question.

      On the ING Direct website, it still says that the trading name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited is wholly owned by ING Group.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  9. Default Gravatar
    MaryJanuary 8, 2017

    Is there any overseas ownership of the ANZ Bank?
    For example the Chase Manhattan Bank.

    • finder Customer Care
      LouJanuary 16, 2017Staff

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for your question.

      ANZ has global presence as they have branches or affiliates in over 30 countries. For more details, you can visit the Worldwide page of the ANZ website.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  10. Default Gravatar
    ZihadMay 18, 2016

    Who owns IMB

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMay 19, 2016Staff

      Hi Zihad,

      Thanks for your question.

      The Illawarra Mutual Bank (IMB) has an ownership model that is structured as a mutual bank and thus it is member-owned. IMB is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and is a member of the Customer Owned Banking Association which represents mutual banks, building societies and credit unions across Australia.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

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