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Written by P&N Group CEO, Andrew Hadley

There will be even less competition in the Australian banking landscape following the announcement that ANZ has bid to takeover Suncorp Bank. If the transaction proceeds, it would see more than one million customers fall under the control of the major bank.

While the sale is yet to be approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Federal Treasurer, it will herald the demise of another sizeable listed Australian bank, further strengthening the might of the big four banks; akin to when CBA took over WA’s Bankwest and Westpac took over Challenge Bank, St George and Bank of Melbourne.

In my opinion, this is not good news for Australian consumers as it further dilutes the competitive playing field.

Don’t get me wrong, I respect the role played by the major banks and acknowledge that Australia has arguably one of the strongest banking systems in the world; however, it’s important to remember that listed banks will always put their shareholders first and not their customers, which represents a significant conflict of interest.

It’s here that customer-owned banks like P&N Bank, play a vital role in offering Australians genuine choice and genuine connection. Our members and owners are one and the same, without the same tension as the listed banks.

We play an important role in the communities in which we operate from Perth through to Bunbury, and enjoy much higher customer advocacy compared to the major banks.

In an era where many Australians are struggling to put their trust in big business, more than four million Australians choose to bank with a customer-owned bank.

On your behalf, our sector needs to grow and remain competitive so that we can continue to offer a genuine alternative against the growing dominance of the major listed banks in Australia.

We believe our model offers something the big four don’t, and it’s our job to champion our alternative banking model on behalf of our members of today and the future.

As a valued P&N Bank member, I trust that you will continue to enjoy the benefits of banking with us and will champion the benefits of customer-owned banking with your friends and family.