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Heartland First New Zealand Bank to Acquire Australian Bank

Heartland First New Zealand Bank to Acquire Australian Bank

(8 April 2024 – New Zealand) Heartland Group Holdings has been granted approval from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) for Heartland Bank’s acquisition of Challenger Bank, originally announced in October 2022.

Completing the Challenger Bank acquisition will make Heartland Bank the first New Zealand registered bank to acquire an Australian Authorised Deposit-taking Institution licence. Once Heartland Australia becomes part of Heartland Bank Australia, it will be the only specialist bank provider of both reverse mortgages and livestock finance in Australia.

Heartland's Australian livestock finance and reverse mortgage division (StockCo Australia) holds a balance sheet of NZ$2 billion of gross finance receivables. Heartland Bank intends to complete the acquisition of Challenger Bank by 30 April 2024.

CEO of RACQ Bank in Queensland, Michelle Winzer has been appointed CEO of Heartland Bank Australia as Heartland CEO Jeff Greenslade announced he would be stepping down after 15 years with the group at the end of 2024.

“The value of Challenger is that it has a deposit-takers licence and that is key to the group's future. The acquisition is a critical step in Heartland's strategy for expansion in the Australian market and achieving its long-term growth ambitions. Challenger has been actively seeking new deposits, adding NZ$1.2 billion in the first three months of the year at a cost 1.74 percent lower than our other Australian businesses” commented Heartland CEO Jeff Greenslade.

"Heartland will leverage Challenger Bank's foundation and funding platform to accelerate growth in Australia based on Heartland's successful track record in Australia, and its New Zealand product and distribution expertise. This will enable Heartland Bank Australia to expand into new product segments in which Heartland Bank has specialist expertise in New Zealand, such as Motor Finance and Asset Finance."

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