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NAB’s gets final neobank takeover approval

The National Australia Bank’s bid to fully acquire neobank 86 400 was given the final tick of approval after the Federal Court provided its sign off on the deal.

In January, NAB announced its intention to acquire 86 400 to accelerate the growth of its digital bank, UBank, by combining UBank’s established customer base and name with 86 400’s technology and innovation capability.

The acquisition was subject to several conditions, including approvals from the Treasurer, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, 86 400 shareholders and the Federal Court. Following the Federal Court sign off, all approvals have now been received.

The approval marks an important precedent for the neobank industry, with APRA recently raising the bar for new entrants following the failure of Xinja to develop a sustainable business model amid the historically low-interest rate environment.

UBank CEO, Philippa Watson said: “Bringing together UBank and 86 400 will help deliver on NAB’s long-term strategy to enhance the customer experience and meet their changing needs. This will create a stronger and more competitive banking alternative for Australian customers. Together we will develop a leading digital bank that attracts and retains customers at scale and pace and creates the next generation of simple, fast and mobile banking solutions.”

The scheme is expected to become effective and implemented in the coming weeks, 86 400 and UBank will continue to operate as separate businesses in the short term with no immediate changes expected for customers of either business.

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