Westpac is thinking through the future of its financial advice service, according to the bank’s chief executive, Brian Hartzer.
However, he said the bank would not be walking away from advice and abandoning its advice customers.
Answering questions before the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, Hartzer acknowledged that the move by banks into wealth management could not be counted as a success.
He said the banks who had made the move into wealth management more than a year ago had clearly underestimated the amount of change that would be needed to make it a success.
Hartzer had earlier argued that institutions such as banks were better placed than many other entities to provide the resources to institute the controls necessary to run an effective wealth management business.
Hartzer also agreed with counsel assisting the commission, Michael Hodge QC that there was potential for conflicts of interest where wealth management products were manufactured alongside the provision of advice.
This was one of the reasons why Westpac had exited BT Investment Management.