Finance Royal Commission likely to disrupt distribution of financial products

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 8-Feb-19

Financial intermediaries (including mortgage brokers and financial planners) currently account for the distribution of 35% of the total value of the major financial products. A number of the recommendations of the Financial Services Royal Commission relate to mortgage brokers and financial planners and if adopted, are likely to negatively impact their usage, particularly as it relates to borrowers rather than the lenders paying fees. Financial planners are also likely to be impacted by the need for greater fee disclosure, clarification of independence, improved focus on the best interests of the customer and the need to provide service for any fee involved. These are some of the latest findings from Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey in the 12 months to August 2018, which is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 consumers per annum in their homes, including detailed questioning across all aspects of investing, borrowing, insurance and banking.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Murray in the crosshairs as battered AMP faces shareholder revolt

Original article by Joyce Moullakis, Ben Butler
The Australian – Page: 15 & 18 : 23-Jan-19

AMP could face a board spill at its 2019 annual meeting under the ‘two strikes’ regime, after more than 61 per cent of votes cast at the 2018 meeting rejected its remuneration report. The election of chairman David Murray is also uncertain, with at least two institutional investors said to be planning to vote against the resolution. They include Hamish Carlisle of Merlon Capital Partners, who opposes the election of Murray and non-executive director John O’Sullivan.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, RESOLUTION LIFE GROUP LIMITED, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, CREDIT SUISSE (AUSTRALIA) LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SUPERANNUATION INVESTORS INCORPORATED, ABERDEEN ASSET MANAGEMENT LIMITED, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, AUSTRALIAN ETHICAL INVESTMENT LIMITED – ASX AEF, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

AMP CEO De Ferrari won’t get a new life insurance deal

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 6-Dec-18

Merlon Capital is among the AMP shareholders that oppose the sale of its life insurance business. However, AMP CEO Francesco De Ferrari says the $3.3bn deal will proceed, arguing that the wealth manager lacks the global scale to compete with much larger international rivals in the life insurance sector. De Ferrari has also expressed support for AMP’s vertically integrated business model, but says this will be unwound if the final report of the financial services commission recommends it.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, CREDIT SUISSE AG, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, MERLON CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD

Westpac not wedded to advice arm

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 6-Nov-18

Westpac has posted a cash profit of $8.07bn for the year o 30 September, which is in line with the previous financial year. Its consumer banking division’s earnings were flat, although its business banking arm performed well. Meanwhile, CEO Brian Hartzer says Westpac remains committed to its BT Financial division, although he says the bank may be willing to consider divesting its in-house financial planning business. Westpac boasted 803 salaried and aligned financial planners at the end of the financial year.

CORPORATES
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BT FINANCIAL GROUP PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, MLC LIMITED, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, SWITZER DIVIDEND GROWTH FUND (MANAGED FUND) – ASX SWT, MORGAN STANLEY AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Firms face off in AMP class action

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 30-Aug-18

A class action lawsuit against AMP over its fee-for-no-service is likely to be heard in the Supreme Court of New South rather than the Federal Court. Four law firms filed separate class action applications in the Federal Court, but Justice Jonathan Beach has ruled that they should be transferred to the Supreme Court where a competing lawsuit had already been filed. Justice Beach criticised the law firms, noting that their class actions are on behalf of a similar body of shareholders and cover similar grievances. Only one of the class actions will be permitted to proceed.

CORPORATES
AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, SUPREME COURT OF NEW SOUTH WALES, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA, QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART AND SULLIVAN LP, PHI FINNEY McDONALD PTY LTD, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, SHINE LAWYERS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY

Perpetual motion: Lloyd to lead NAB wealth spin-off

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 18-Jul-18

National Australia Bank has advised that Geoff Lloyd will become CEO of its MLC wealth business on 1 September. Lloyd recently stepped down as CEO of Perpetual after six years, a period which saw strong growth in its profits and share price. NAB plans to divest MLC via a sharemarket float or trade sale, and Lloyd says the opportunity to grow the business as a stand-alone wealth manager was a key reason for his decision to take on the role. The spin-off will include NAB’s superannuation and financial planning businesses.

CORPORATES
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MLC LIMITED, PERPETUAL LIMITED – ASX PPT, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, IOOF HOLDINGS LIMITED – ASX IFL, JBWERE LIMITED, NABTRADE, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, LEND LEASE GROUP LIMITED – ASX LLC, NIPPON LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION

Nearly two million Australians use a financial planner or adviser – worth $703b

Original article by Roy Morgan
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 17-Jul-18

New research from Roy Morgan shows that 1.96 million Australians aged 14+ (9.7%) used a financial planner/adviser to purchase superannuation or managed funds in the year to May 2018. This group accounts for $703bn in total wealth management products and have an average value of nearly $360,000. The research also shows that 33% of wealth management customers who are in the top quintile of the market by value have used a financial planner or adviser. The other groups that have above average use of financial planners/advisors include those with incomes of $130,000+ (22.1%), Baby Boomers (18.5%), those aged 50+ (16.6%), Pre-Boomers (15.8%) and the AB Socio Economic Quintile (13.7%). These are the latest results from Roy Morgan’s "Profile of Users of Financial Planners Report", which is based on in-depth interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including over 5,000 who have used a financial planner/adviser to purchase superannuation or managed funds.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

DIY super is built on dodgy advice

Original article by Caitlin Fitzsimmons
The Age – Page: 20 : 29-Jun-18

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s deputy chairman Peter Kell says the financial planning industry needs to lift its game when it comes to providing advice to the $A697bn self-managed superannuation fund sector. Kell was commenting on an ASIC report which contends that nine out of every 10 SMSFs are "underpinned" by sub-standard financial advice. The number of SMSFs grew by an average of 5.2 per cent a year between 2010 and 2017, while there were over 590,000 SMSFs at the end of June 2017.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN PRUDENTIAL REGULATION AUTHORITY, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

CBA retreats to simpler bank model

Original article by Alice Uribe, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 18 : 26-Jun-18

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia will focus on its core banking operations after revealing plans to demerge its wealth management, financial planning and mortgage broking assets into a separately listed company. Analysts says the move was widely expected given the reforms that are likely to emerge from the banking royal commission. CBA has advised that it will not hold a stake in CFS Group, which is expected to have a market capitalisation of around $A8bn. CBA may also divest its general insurance business in a separate transaction.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, CFS GROUP, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GROUP LIMITED, COLONIAL FIRST STATE GLOBAL ASSET MANAGEMENT, COUNT FINANCIAL LIMITED, FINANCIAL WISDOM LIMITED, AUSSIE HOME LOANS LIMITED, MORTGAGE CHOICE LIMITED – ASX MOC, COUNTPLUS LIMITED – ASX CUP, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, MLC LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, BT FINANCIAL GROUP PTY LTD, CONCENTRATED LEADERS FUND LIMITED – ASX CLF, SHAW AND PARTNERS LIMITED, MORNINGSTAR PTY LTD, COMMONWEALTH FINANCIAL PLANNING LIMITED, UBS HOLDINGS PTY LTD, GOLDMAN SACHS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

Murray warns bank inquiry on dangers of over-reach

Original article by James Eyers
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 20-Jun-18

David Murray has cautioned the banking royal commission against recommending onerous sanctions against financial services providers in response to misconduct in the sector. He will use a speech on 20 June to warn that excessive regulation of lenders and financial advisers could force borrowers to seek loans from unregulated providers. Murray, who headed the federal government’s financial system inquiry, will also advocate retention of the vertically integrated model for the financial services industry.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP, AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN AUSTRALIA