IMB Bank exits advice ownership

IMB Bank has announced its substantial exit from financial planning with the sale of its financial planning business to Bridges Financial Services effective from 1 May. 

The arrangement, announced late on Thursday, will see Bridges take ownership of the bank’s advice business assets and provide ongoing financial advice to the bank’s customers via an exclusive referral arrangement. 

Announcing the move, IMB chief executive, Robert Ryan, said the decision to exit ownership of financial planning assets had followed a strategic review. 

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“The sale of IMB Financial Planning to Bridges will provide our financial planning clients with a wider range of specialised financial planning services than IMB Financial Planning is able to offer. Our strategic partnership with Bridges will also allow us to support the advice needs of our members as we continue to expand geographically,” he said.  

“Following a comprehensive review of our options, Bridges was chosen as they offered a compelling financial planning proposition for our clients, supported by a strong presence across our key markets which will benefit our members into the future.” 

“Bridges provides financial planning services to approximately 60% of the mutual banking industry and understands and respects the principles of customer-owned banking, and its values and commitment to providing quality specialised financial planning advice closely aligns with ours.” 

The transaction involves the transfer of IMBFP’s financial planning clients to Bridges Financial Services, with current advice and investments remaining unchanged. 

The statement issued by the two entities said current IMB Financial Planning advisors and administration staff would transition to Bridges and many ‘client-planner’ relationships will remain unchanged. 

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