What is happening?

On 25 September we announced that ANZ had reached an agreement with ING Group's to acquire ING’s 51% shareholding in the ANZ-ING wealth management and life insurance joint ventures in Australia and New Zealand for A$1,760 million.

This means ANZ will take full ownership of the wealth and insurance businesses in Australia and New Zealand and it creates a platform for further growth in Australia and New Zealand.

Why is ANZ acquiring the remaining shareholding in ING in Australia and New Zealand

The acquisition is part of our super regional strategy. It strengthens ANZ’s position in wealth management, life insurance and advice and it provides greater flexibility to pursue growth opportunities that were not available to us under the joint venture structure.

Full ownership also means we can now more closely align our retail banking and wealth businesses and deepen relationships with our customers. As ANZ already has a stake in the joint ventures, we know the business well. It’s a logical next step.

What happens next?

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval in Australia and New Zealand.

We expect the acquisition to be completed by the end of 2009.

In the meantime, nothing will change, ING and ANZ customers will continue to deal with the same people in the same way.

What are the benefits?

Moving to full ownership of the ING Joint Ventures strengthens ANZ's position in wealth management with a business we know well. It gives us flexibility to pursue growth without the constraints of a joint venture structure and supported by a well capitalised parent company.

For INGA & ING (NZ) customers there will be no change to policy commitments and service arrangements. The current management team and over 2,500 staff will continue to operate the business and benefit from greater stability and opportunities.

How does this fit with ANZ's super regional strategy?

This acquisition is consistent with our strategy. It brings certainty to our wealth management position through ownership of an established specialist wealth management and protection business.

It reinforces that ANZ’s super regional objective is not just an Asian strategy, it’s a regional strategy founded on strong positions in our Australian, New Zealand and Asia Pacific markets.

Will ANZ continue to use the ING Brand?
As part of the transaction, ANZ has entered into transitional service arrangements with ING Group which includes continued use of the ING brand for a period of up to 12 months.