ACCC’s Sims warns big banks’ fintech deals could be blocked
Competition tsar Rod Sims has warned he could block innovative fintechs from merging with big four banks, after giving approval for National Australia Bank’s takeover of neobank 86 400.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approved NAB’s $220 million acquisition on Tuesday after a nine-week consultation process.
Mr Sims said the deal was approved because 86 400 was not particularly unique or disruptive to the banking market and should not send a signal that all similar mergers would be waived through.
“There will be transactions we will stop, I can think of a number of companies that are not appropriate to mention, that we would block,” Mr Sims said.
Mr Sims said while 86 400 was well known and popular with customers, its technology and service offering was replicated across the fintech industry.
“Their technology is basically white-labelled software. Others can do it and are doing it. So in the end, we didn’t figure it was making enough of a difference to the market to amount to a substantial lessening of competition.”
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