“Innovative fintechs play an increasingly critical role in the market, challenging the established banks, leading to more innovative and cheaper banking for consumers. We therefore examined the proposed acquisition particularly closely, including extensive consultation with industry participants, given the important role of that innovation,” said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims, announcing that the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission “will not oppose” the “acquisition” of 86 400 Holdings Limited by National Australia Bank or NAB. But there is enough in the statement to make it clear that Noo Finance is really just the same old same old, it’s sama-sama, it’s sitting on the bus while it’s at a stop that isn’t yours. The ACCC has just, inadvertently, let slip that the Fintech industry is a trick.
86 400 is a so-called digital only bank which means that it offers services only online, in this case only through an application hosted on users’ smartphones.
According to the ACCC’s statement “The ACCC’s consultation included banks, non-bank lenders, fintechs, mortgage brokers, industry and consumer bodies among others. Most interested parties raised no or limited concerns with the transaction.”
And therein lies the true situation.