‘Optum Bank’ will take out new loan, says CEO
AUSTRALIA’S largest bank has announced it will take a £2bn loan from OptumBank, which has announced its plan to buy the assets of the world’s second largest bank, HSBC.
OptumBank CEO John Wills said in a statement on Wednesday that the deal would help it to expand its operations.
OptomBank is owned by the Australian-based multinational insurer, Optum, which was founded in 1995 and is based in Sydney.
Optum Bank is Australia’s third largest bank and has been struggling to compete with HSBC for clientele and customer loyalty.
OptimBank has said it will not take a majority stake in HSBC’s Australia operations.
However, the acquisition will allow Optum to take a bigger stake in the bank, which it has struggled to achieve in recent years.
It is expected to close by the end of 2020.
Optus CEO John Whittaker said in the statement that the bank’s new strategy would be to “bring more value to Optum customers”.
Optum is one of the biggest Australian banks, with more than $2.7 trillion in assets under management, according to the Australian Financial Review.
It has a long history of investing in businesses in Australia, which is why the Australian government is giving the Australian arm of the bank a $1.2 billion grant for “investment in the Australian economy”.
The Australian Federal Government has committed to supporting the bank in its efforts to grow its overseas business, which now accounts for more than a third of its annual revenue.
OptemBank has faced a number of challenges since the financial crisis, including the closure of the Tasmanian arm in December last year, the bank becoming insolvent in November, and the bank being forced to exit Australia in April 2019.
“The Optum Group will be a stronger and better-funded bank with more time to grow and improve its financial position,” Whittakers statement said.
OptiBank is expected be the largest Australian bank by assets in 2020.