St George Building Society, one of Australia's largest providers of housing finance and already a familiar name in Asian and European capital markets, has moved to convert to bank status.

The announced move will take Australia's largest building society out of the ranks of nonbank financial institutions and into the growing domestic banking sector. For St George, the new status will bring the credit and pricing advantages associated with being a bank and a member of the financial-markets sector directly supervised by Australia's central bank, the Reserve Bank.

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