Who owns ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac?

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Who Owns ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac? 

For most, creating a bank account means choosing one of the big banks. In Australia, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, ANZ, and Westpac are the Big Four. Combined, these banks have a market capitalization of over $400 billion.

Of the Big Four, Commonwealth Bank has the largest share, while NAB has the smallest share. But who owns these banks? That’s one question that most consumers seem to never get a clear response to.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

CBA is an Australian multinational bank with operations in Asia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the USA. It has total consolidated assets of over AU$900 billion.

As of September 2019, retail investors have direct ownership of 51 percent of CBA, while Australian ownership of CBA is up to 78 percent. Offshore ownership is about 22.25 percent.

Minority shareholders are as follows:

  • HSBC owns 14.80 percent
  • JP Morgan owns 11.57 percent
  • National Nominees Limited owns 8.5 percent
  • Citicorp owns 4.47 percent

Westpac Banking Corporation

For Westpac, institutional shareholders own up to 53.9 percent, while retail investors hold about 46.1 percent, as of June 2019. Domestic ownership of the bank stands at 75.2 percent, while foreign ownership is 24.8 percent.

Westpack boasts the extensive foreign Network of all the banks, as it gives its customers access to over 50,000 global ATMs for free.

Minority shareholders are as follows:

  • HSBC owns 6.91 percent
  • JP Morgan owns 12.75 percent
  • National Nominees Limited owns 9.93 percent
  • Citicorp 4.94 percent

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

Headquartered in Melbourne, ANZ is the second-largest bank by assets and the third by market capitalization in Australia.

The general public, mostly retail investors, owns up to 82 percent of shares in ANZ while institutional investors own up to 18 percent of the bank.

Minority shareholders are as follows:

  • HSBC owns 18.48 percent
  • JP Morgan owns 14.40 percent
  • National Nominees Limited owns 11.76 percent
  • Citicorp owns 4.15 percent

National Australia Bank (NAB)

National Australian Bank has a marketing capitalization of AU$80b, and it’s the only one of the Big Four banks that doesn’t charge account keeping fees.

The latest data show that the general public owns up to 79 percent of NAB, while institutional investors account for 20 percent of the stock. Insiders have a share of 1 percent; this is about AU$24 million of the stock.

Minority shareholders are as follows:

  • HSBC owns 16.83 percent
  • JP Morgan owns 12.03 percent
  • National Nominees Limited owns 10.14 percent
  • Citicorp owns 4 percent

Final Thoughts

Most people feel more comfortable applying for loans or saving their money with big banks. So, if you want to know who really controls Australian banks, you need to look at the composition of their share registry.

As you’ve noted, the general public, mostly retail investors, own majority of the shares. This means they have the power to control critical decisions, such as executive compensation, board composition, and the dividend ratio.

HSBC, National Nominees, JP Morgan, and Citicorp are the top custodians in these banks, and they are also some of the most prominent investors in Australia.

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