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Bendigo offloads financial planning book for $3m

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is selling its financial advice assets in a deal worth $3 million.

IOOF subsidiary Bridges Financial Services and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank have entered into an arrangement that will see the former acquiring Bendigo Financial Planning’s client book and servicing rights. 

The deal will also see Bridges provide ongoing financial planning services to clients of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank under a referral arrangement.

The IOOF subsidiary would pay $3 million in cash on completion, which is expected on 1 August 2019, with a further sum payable on the first anniversary of completion subject to maintaining an agreed ongoing service client retention rate.

Richard Fennell, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s executive for consumer banking, attributed the decision to changing market dynamics, saying that the bank would not be in a position to provide specialised support moving forward.

“At an industry level, we have seen the dynamics impacting financial advice businesses change significantly over the last few years. The provision of advice has become a highly specialised capability with the need for significant ongoing investment to meet the increasing regulatory and compliance requirements,” Mr Fennell said.

“In considering our advice business as part of our broader banking services, we recognise we will not be in a position to create the specialised focus required to effectively meet our customers’ needs into the future.

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“We believe a dedicated focus, from a specialist provider, with the scale and reach of Bridges, will help to ensure our customers’ expectations can be met and that advisers can be supported in meeting future development needs as the industry moves to increase the level of professionalisation of the industry.”

The consumer banking executive also said the decision aligns with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s strategy to “reduce complexity wherever possible”.

IOOF’s acting CEO, Renato Mota, commented: “This partnership demonstrates how our diversified service capabilities continue to be attractive to advice groups looking to join a genuinely advice-led wealth manager. It is testament to our focus on our long-term vision and making advice more accessible to all Australians, and we are pleased to deepen our partnership with an iconic community-centric organisation.”

IOOF managing director Christopher Kelaher left his position last week “by mutual agreement” as the wealth manager focuses on “restoring trust” against the backdrop of a shareholder class action and court action by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority for allegedly failing to act in the best interests of superannuation members.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank additionally announced that it will sell its specialist Geelong West SMSF business to LBW Business & Wealth Advisors, which is expected to be effective from 1 July 2019.

[Related: Bendigo launches fully digitised home loan]


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