What now for CFS?

In the wake of the Commonwealth Bank confirming its intended closure of its Financial Wisdom aligned dealer group Financial Wisdom from next year, all eyes have turned to its next steps in offloading is remaining wealth management assets, particularly Colonial First State (CFS).

The announcement concerning closing the Financial Wisdom license next year followed on from completion of the sale of Count Financial to CountPlus this week and means that the Commonwealth Bank now has CFS and Aussie Home Loans businesses to dispose of.

The bank-initiated demerger moves for its wealth related businesses in 2018 but moved to place the initiative on hold in March, this year, arguing that it needed to focus on remediation issues flowing from the findings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

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However, in the succeeding months, the bank has not only closed out the sale of CFS Global Asset Management and Count Financial but has also effectively cleared the way to move hundreds of aligned planners off the books.

Colonial First State represents a valuable asset because its major platforms and superannuation businesses with strong revenues.

Those looking at the CFS business will overlook the decline in profit reported by the broader wealth management business and focus on the fact that funds management income increased by two per cent to $862 million and that the FirstChoice and CFSWrap platforms experienced continued growth.

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