CBA buys stake in telcos, writes a second sustainability loan

  • By Elizabeth Fry

Commonwealth Bank will offer discounted broadband to its customers by taking a stake in two telcos as it continues to find new ways to reward its retail customers. 

Australia’s largest bank will acquire a 25 percent equity stake in More Telecom and Tangerine and then offer its 7 million app users special telco deals. 

The investment will unlock special customer benefits for CBA’s retail customers. These products will be integrated with the CommBank app over time, allowing them to access these benefits as well as the ability to self-serve. 

Over time, CBA customers will be able to order broadbands check their usage and balances and relocate their service when moving home. 

Angus Sullivan, the bank’s head of retail banking services said CBA is uniquely positioned to help their customers manage this essential cost. 

“The integration of More Telecom and Tangerine into the CommBank app will give our customers greater control over their finances, in future potentially allowing them to view their NBN or broadband plan, usage, and upcoming bills in one place,” he said. 

“This partnership supports our ambition of providing our customers with one of the best digital experiences of any company globally." 

More Telecom and Tangerine have a combined 90,000 customers. 

Sullivan said the decision to partner with the broadband providers shows how CBA is continuing to reward its customers.  

“As the country’s biggest supporter of getting Aussies into homes, we are reimagining banking for our customers, creating more value for them, putting more money back in their pockets, and helping them save money by exposing them to new ways of doing things and new quality products and services. 

Co-founder of More Telecom, Andrew Branson, said the new partnership would allow the business to fast-track its expansion plans and accelerate growth 

“Our plan was always to capture a significant market share in the NBN and partnering with Australia’s largest bank to distribute our products and services will only help that,” he said. 

“Consumers don’t often consider changing their NBN provider, but through this partnership with Commonwealth Bank we can also schedule special offers and broadband activations in line with a customer purchasing a new home or updating their home or business address” 

Separately, CBA has partnered with a leading Australian beef producer to drive enhanced leadership in social outcomes under a new funding agreement. 

An agricultural sustainability loan 

In a first for Australia’s agriculture industry, premium Queensland beef producer Stockyard Group has entered a sustainability-linked loan with Australia’s largest bank. 

Stockyard’s three-year loan with Commonwealth Bank sets out clear parameters that will see the beef producer stretching towards sustainable outcomes in greenhouse gas emissions reduction, animal welfare, and workplace health and safety 

The agricultural company’s practices are already in line with the beef industry’s priorities such as the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework and the Carbon Neutral 2030 strategy. 

CBA’s head of business banking, Mike Vacy-Lyle, called the deal a game-changer for the beef-producing business. 

“We know many farmers across the country are already adopting best practice sustainability and environmental stewardship, and we want to partner with agribusinesses to help them innovate and accelerate transition plans. 

Earlier this month CBA helped structure a $2.2 billion sustainability loan for Celsus, the consortium responsible for designing, financing, constructing, and operating non-clinical services at The Royal Adelaide Hospital. 

The Celsus sustainability loan was the first in Australia and first for the global healthcare sector.