With the 86 400 brand gone, all of its products have now been rebranded as ubank. 

Ubank's logo will also take on 86 400's old colour scheme, font, and styling - as below - becoming all lowercase letters.

The refreshed ubank will also adopt 86 400's app features such as savings targets and bonus interest targets.

The acquisition has been more than a year in the making, with NAB first announcing plans to acquire the neobank in January 2021 at a reported price of $220 million.

UBank86400.jpg

Ubank CEO Philippa Watson says the merger is complementary.

"Our team has an incredible combination of banking and technology leaders and I'm looking forward to seeing this team continue to bring innovative technology and money solutions to customers," Ms Watson said.

"We’ve got leading technology from Australia’s first smart bank paired perfectly with a brand that has been trusted by Australians for almost 15 years."

Samuel Philipos, director of mortgage brokers Benevolence Financial Group, told Savings.com.au the acqusition is mainly motivated by technology.

"NAB buying 86 400 is an example of fintech's future threat and opportunities that are threatening the incumbent business models that include huge expenses such as their branch networks," Mr Philipos said.

"NAB's acquisition of 86 400 was particularly important to accelerate growth of its digital bank ubank using 86 400's technology.

"Similarly with CBA owning start ups such as OwnHome, this allows the major players to be directly involved in the fintech space and provide innovative solutions whilst catering to their current customer base."

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      The state of neobanks

      Brand Founded Fate
      86 400 2017, granted ADI in 2019 Acquired by NAB, merged with ubank May 2022
      Alex 2018 Offers loans, on a restricted ADI so limited transaction accounts
      Judo 2016, granted ADI in 2019 Offers term deposits and business lending products
      Up 2018 Offers transaction and savings accounts, shares ADI with Bendigo Bank
      Volt 2017, granted ADI in 2019 Savings product still in beta
      Xinja 2017, granted ADI in 2019 Folded in early 2021

      Majors continue to major

      All four major banks recently released their quarterly updates and all paint a fairly similar picture - the boost in the property market has helped their bottom lines.

      For the second half of 2021, the majors' combined cash profit after tax amounted to $14.4 billion, up 5.1% on the first half of 2021.

      That said, net interest margins (NIMs) are generally down, fuelled by low fixed interest rates on home loans.

      KPMG banking strategy lead Hessel Verbeek said the Reserve Bank's recent cash rate rise should filter through to higher NIMs for the major banks.

      "The market dynamic has been dominated by the NIM decrease resulting from low lending rates in a very competitive market and strong demand for low margin fixed rate mortgages," Mr Verbeek said.

      "This downward pressure has only partially been offset by lower funding costs from near-zero deposit rates. The impacts of an extended period of low interest rates are deeply baked into net interest margins."

      See Also: What are Australia's largest banks?


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