Suncorp Group

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This article is about the Australian financial company. For the Canadian oil company, see Suncor Energy.
Suncorp Group
Type Public
Traded as ASXSUN
Industry General insurance
Banking
Life insurance
Wealth management
Founded 1996
Headquarters Brisbane, Australia
Area served Australia and New Zealand
Key people Ziggy Switkowski
Chairman
Patrick Snowball
CEO
Revenue Increase A$14.1 billion (2009)
Operating income Increase A$799 million (2009)
Profit Increase A$348 million (2009)
Total assets Increase A$95 billion (2009)
Employees 18,000+
Subsidiaries Suncorp Bank
Suncorp Insurance
GIO
Australian Associated Motor Insurers
Apia
Vero
Shannon's
JustCar
Website www.suncorpgroup.com.au

Suncorp Group Limited is an Australian finance, insurance, and banking corporation based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is one of Australia's largest banks (by combined lending and deposits) and its largest general insurance group,[1] formed on 1 December 1996 by the merger of Suncorp, Metway Bank and the Queensland Industry Development Corporation (QIDC).

History[edit]

State Government Insurance Office[edit]

Queensland established the State Accident Insurance Office in 1919,[2] to provide mandatory injury compensation insurance to workers in the state's business sector. New legislation soon after created a larger insurance body, the State Government Insurance Office (SGIO) which took over the State Accident Insurance Office. General insurance, third party and life products were added. SGIO later expanded into building society operations, superannuation, and finance.

In 1960, new legislation establishing the SGIO as a separate corporation was passed, and the group became subject to state regulatory oversight. In 1971, the SGIO took another step toward full-fledged corporate status, forming its own board of directors. At this time, the operations involving injury compensation for workers were placed under a separate board. By 1976, as SGIO's insurance operations took on a more commercial orientation, the company closed down its building society operations.

The next step toward the SGIO's move toward the private sector came in 1985. Under new legislation, the company dropped the SGIO name in favor of the name Suncorp and its employees lost their status as civil servants. At the same time, Suncorp became an independent corporation, although still government controlled. By the mid 1990s, Suncorp was an allfinanz (i.e. with combined banking, financial, and insurance operations) group and had assets of nearly $10 billion.

Metway Bank[edit]

Metway Bank started as the Metropolitan Permanent Building Society which was founded in 1959.[2] In the late 1980s, Metropolitan joined the trend among Australia's building societies to expand into being full-scale banks. In 1988, Metropolitan abandoned its status as a building society to reincorporate as a bank. Metway, as the new bank was called, listed publicly and began acquiring a number of rival banks and building societies. Metway became the largest Queensland based bank by the mid 1990s. Metways's operations also extended into the other eastern states and the assets of the bank were more than $7 billion.

Queensland Industry Development Corporation[edit]

QIDC has its origins in Agbank which was a state government farming financier that was started in 1902.[2] In 1986, new Queensland legislation was passed to incorporate and regulate the bank as the Queensland Industry Development Corporation. By the mid 1990s, QIDC had assets of approximately $3 billion.[2]

Merger as Suncorp-Metway: 1996 to 1999[edit]

In response to sweeping changes in Australia's financial and insurance industries in the mid 1990s, and especially the increasing convergence of the banking and insurance sectors, the state owned QIDC and Suncorp were amalgamated with Metway Bank (listed publicly) in 1996. The new company, Suncorp-Metway, became one of the largest insurance and finance groups in Australia, ranking fifth in the national market. By 1998, the company's combined assets exceeded $22 billion.

The Queensland government initially controlled 68 percent of the new company, but quickly made good on its promise to sell off most of its stake. In 1997, the company conducted a public offering that reduced the government's stake in Suncorp-Metway to 4 percent, with the last remaining government shares sold one year later. In 1999, Suncorp-Metway completed the integration of the Metway, QIDC and Suncorp operations, and launched a single unified Suncorp-Metway brand. As part of this process, the company also trimmed its retail network, shutting down a number of redundant branches.

Further conglomeration: 2000 to 2006[edit]

After its integration phase, Suncorp-Metway began putting into place a new strategy. The company sought to launch itself on a truly national scale, replacing its allfinanz model with a new financial conglomerate strategy. The company wanted expand, particularly in its more profitable insurance division. The company made its first acquisition in 2001 by taking over GIO General Ltd, which was then part of AMP. That purchase made Suncorp-Metway the second ranked in Australia in terms of income from general insurance in annual premiums.

The company carried out another rebranding exercise in 2002, adopting the Suncorp name for all of its Queensland operations, and for non-insurance operations outside of the state. The company's insurance operations, excluding Queensland, took on the GIO name.

Suncorp continued to build up its insurance portfolio into the middle of the decade. The company acquired 50 percent of the Queensland-based automobile insurance club RAA, a joint venture originally formed between AMP and RACQ. Suncorp bought out AMP's share of the joint venture in 2002. In 2004, the company purchased Tasmania's RACT.

Promina acquisition: 2007[edit]

Suncorp then began preparations for a still larger takeover of insurance giant Promina Group Limited. By early 2007, the two companies had agreed to terms of a merger, which, valued at AUD 7.9 billion ($5.9 billion), represented one of the largest completed in Australia's financial sector since the beginning of the new century.[3]

Promina was formerly part of the UK-based insurance giant Royal and Sun Alliance, until it spun off the business in Australia as a separate public company in 2003.[4] The merger transformed Suncorp into a true giant in Australia, doubling its assets to nearly AUD 85 billion ($65 billion).

Recent events[edit]

During a retail banking review in 2007, Suncorp determined its credit card portfolio was a non-core asset and entered into talks to sell its 100,000 card/$230 million credit-card portfolio to Citibank.[5] Citibank now handles the operational aspects of credit whilst the Suncorp brand remains on the cards and Suncorp continues to provide customer interaction.[6]

As of 2007, Suncorp had assets of over A$95 billion,[2] over 9 million customers,[2] and over 16,000 staff.[7] Suncorp operated 232 retail and business banking outlets, predominantly in Queensland. GIO operated 34 agencies in NSW and Victoria. An additional 157 retail branches and services centres were added with the Promina acquisition.[2]

In June 2013, Goldman Sachs’s Special Situations Group, the proprietary investment unit of the investment bank, purchased some of Suncorp Group Ltd.’s loans for about US$863 million.[8] In the summer of 2013 as European lenders were divesting their loans portfolios, in Australia, hedge funds and investment banks were buying them.[8] In 2013, distressed-debt investors, seeking investment opportunities in Asia, particularly in Australia, acquired discounted bonds or bank loans of companies' facing distressed debt, with the potential of profitable returns if the companies' performance or their debt-linked assets improves. In 2013 Australia was one of the biggest markets for distressed-debt investors in Asia.[8]

Suncorp has been granted a MySuper authority, enabling it to continue to receive default superannuation contribution from 1 Jan 2014.

Suncorp Business Services appointed its new CEO, Matt Pancino, on the 13th June 2014. Pancino formerly worked as the Chief Information Officer for the group.[9]

Business interests[edit]

Suncorp covers nearly all areas in wealth and banking, including life insurance, general insurance, commercial insurance, Compulsory Third Party (CTP), banking, finance, agricultural banking and business banking, the notable exception being health insurance. It is the largest banking and insurance corporation headquartered in Brisbane.[1]

Suncorp is the parent company of insurance company GIO, which is mainly used as a general insurance company representing Suncorp outside Queensland, offering similar products to the Suncorp branded insurance product in Queensland.

Suncorp also owns the AAMI, Apia, Just Car Insurance, Shannons, InsureMyRide, Vero, Terri Scheer, Bingle, CIL, Asteron and Tyndall insurance brands in Australia, and Vero, Asteron, Guardian Trust, Tyndall, Vero Marine, Vero Liability, AA Insurance, SIS, CMV/AXIOM, Mariner, Comprehensive Travel Insurance and Autosure brands in New Zealand. These assets were acquired with the Promina Group in 2007.

Suncorp Bank[edit]

Suncorp Bank brand

On 19 April 2009, Suncorp announced a re-branding of the banking arm of the company to Suncorp Bank. The reason behind the re-branding is to give the company a view[citation needed] that Suncorp is a bank with an insurance arm, not an insurance company with a banking division. This is also being done to try to aid the bank's expansion into Western Australia, where Suncorp is not known for its banking capabilities, with the focus previously being on its insurance strengths.

Joint ventures[edit]

Suncorp acquired insurance joint ventures with motoring clubs RACQ and RAA in 2001, but chose to divest them in 2010. RACT Insurance in Tasmania continues to be 100% owned by Suncorp.

Suncorp Stadium[edit]

Main article: Suncorp Stadium

Suncorp holds the naming rights of Lang Park, currently branded as Suncorp Stadium. It is a rectangular sporting stadium located in the Brisbane suburb of Milton, and is the home of the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland Reds and Brisbane Roar FC.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Group Overview". Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "history of Suncorp". Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  3. ^ "Promina shareholders approve $8b Suncorp merger". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 March 2007. Archived from the original on 2014-06-15. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  4. ^ Cave, Andrew (1 April 2003). "Royal Sun floats off Promina". The Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 2014-06-15. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  5. ^ "Suncorp to transfer $230m credit card portfolio to Citi". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  6. ^ "Suncorp and Citibank Sign Credit Card Deal". Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  7. ^ John Mulcahy (2006-11-16). "Chief Executive Officer’s presentation to Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Summit, Singapore" (PDF). Suncorp-Metway Limited. Retrieved 2007-02-05. 
  8. ^ a b c "Distressed-Debt Investors Eye Asia". Wall Street Journal. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.suncorpgroup.com.au/announcements-pdf/539102

External links[edit]