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Merger talks in 2008 for owners of ANZ National, BNZ: report

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June NZPA - The Australian owners of the ANZ National and BNZ banks in this country were reportedly working on a possible merger in 2008.

Talks between the Melbourne-based parent banks National Australia Bank and ANZ were carried out for several months in the first half of 2008, but efforts to win support from the Rudd government for the controversial move failed, The Australian newspaper reported.

A statement from Treasurer Wayne Swan in mid-2008, for which there was no public trigger at the time, was described by one player as "a direct shot across the bows of NAB and ANZ".

In his statement, Mr Swan restated Labor support for Australia's four pillars banking policy.

"The government considers that Australia is best served by a stable banking system that can continue to draw on the strength and risk management skills of four major banks, rather than a lesser number," Mr Swan said.

Spokesmen for NAB and ANZ have declined to comment.

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