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ACCC rules on CBA’s acquisition of Aussie

The ACCC has formalised its opinion on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's proposed acquisition of Aussie Home Loans.

Earlier today, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it would not oppose the acquisition which involves CBA acquiring the remaining 67 per cent of the issue capitalised in AHL Holdings Pty Ltd.

In making its decision, the ACCC said it took into account the implied competitive constraints that could arise as a consequence of the acquisition.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said while Aussie Home Loans franchisee brokers will still wish to offer home loans from a range of lenders, Commonwealth Bank is likely to have the ability and incentive to increase the volume of, for example, “white label” home loan products (financed by Commonwealth Bank and rebranded as Aussie Home Loans) supplied through the Aussie Home Loans network.

However, the ACCC concluded that this would not give rise to a substantial lessening of competition.   “Aussie Home Loans brokers make up only around 6 per cent of Australia’s mortgage brokers, and there are many other distribution channels through which lenders can access brokers and borrowers,” Mr Sims said.   The ACCC consulted widely with a range of interested parties, including bank and non-bank lenders, mortgage aggregators, broker head groups and industry bodies.