Future bank advice model is based on salaried advisers

19 November 2019

The pattern is set. Most of the major banks, just like industry superannuation funds, will remain in financial planning via salaried financial advisers.

Just days after Commonwealth Bank (CBA) chief executive, Matt Comyn, confirmed his bank’s intention to remain in advice via salaried advisers, ANZ chief executive, Shayne Elliott confirmed a similar strategy on the part of ANZ albeit that he left some elements of the bank’s future advice delivery strategy open.

However, ANZ has already sold its dealer group network to IOOF.

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What is more, Elliott outlined the same logic for ANZ remaining in the advice sector as Comyn did for CBA.

“Because, actually, financial planning is a valuable service for many members of the community,” he said while giving to evidence to the House of Representatives Economics Committee review into the four major banks.

“It has many challenges to it, frankly, in terms of operating it safely and soundly, but it's actually a good thing. Many people should have a financial plan, and I think going to your bank and expecting the bank to be able to help you get one is a reasonable expectation,” Elliott said.

“There are different models for us to do that. We can do it because we have our own people. We can do it in partnership with somebody else. We're still exploring those because each has a different risk profile. It's small. It's very targeted. We think it's the right thing to do for now.

“But, as I said, that world, from a regulatory point of view, from a reputational point of view and frankly from a business model point of view, is very challenged, so I imagine that that will continue to be reviewed in the future.”

Asked whether he could envisage ANZ fully divesting itself of wealth management in the future, Elliott did not rule out the proposition, but said he would regard it as “an unfortunate outcome for the broader community”.

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Hayne lost the opportunity to remove vertical integration including intra fund advice. Everything else he created was a minor player to this issue.

I wonder how much of this has to do with the FASEA Code of Ethics hardline approach on referrals? It was reported the ANZ sale to IOOF incorporated an exclusive ongoing referral arrangement to IOOF, for those ANZ bank customers identified as needing super/investment/insurance advice. This undoubtedly boosted the price IOOF was willing to pay. But such an arrangement would now appear to be contrary to the FASEA Code of Ethics. No surprise some of the other banks are putting their wealth management sales on ice and are retaining inhouse planners.

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