ANZ/ES&A MERGER 50th ANNIVERSARY – 1 OCTOBER 2020
BUT FIRST, A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
ANZ an Official History, written by David Merrett, was launched in 1985 – Chapter 11 covered events leading up to the merger. It was titled “MARRIAGE”.
The following extracts from this chapter will awaken the memories of those who worked in each of the banks at that time and provide others with an interesting overview of the manoeuvrings and intrigue that preceded the eventual merger.
‘On 10 December 1968 the two banks finally announced that they were to wed. The excitement and drama of this statement disguised the fact that neither party was entering into the union with particularly strong conviction. The reasons that compelled the respective boards were essentially those that were mooted since the 1930s and were the basis for the birth of ANZ Bank (the merger of the Bank of Australasia and The Union Bank of Australia). They were primarily defensive. The impulse towards a merger came from the boards. Those few ANZ Bank executives who knew about the proposal were either non-committal or against it. The ES&A’s highest management was strongly opposed, so much so that they were able to scuttle the proposal when it was first raised in May 1966.However, the ES&A directors presented their executive with a fait accompli by deciding to merge even before the second round of negotiations began in April 1968’.
‘Unlike the Australasia and Union merger, this was no joining of equals; the ES&A was roughly half the size of ANZ Bank. The ES&A staff were fearful of the likely consequences of union, while in the event the staff of the ANZ Bank were resentful of what they saw as unwarranted concessions to the smaller organisation’.
The merged ANZ Banking Group Ltd began trading on 1 October 1970, 50 years ago.
We received a large number of responses to our request for members to send us anecdotes and experiences from the time of the Merger. Some of these were included in the September Newsletter, more are now included below, and we will include the remainder in November and December. Thank you all for your contributions.