Bendigo and Adelaide Bank announces changes to its Financial Planning Business
Wednesday, 10 April 2019: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Bridges Financial Services (Bridges). The agreement will see Bridges take ownership of BEN’s advice business assets and also provide ongoing financial planning and advice to the Bank’s customers via a referral arrangement.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Executive, Consumer Banking, Richard Fennell, said the changes are driven by the Bank’s focus on delivering the highest levels of customer service and outcomes with the agreement to deliver customers increased access to specialised financial planning services.
“At an industry level we have seen the dynamics impacting financial advice businesses change significantly over the last few years. The provision of advice has become a highly specialised capability with the need for significant ongoing investment to meet the increasing regulatory and compliance requirements,” Mr Fennell said.
“In considering our advice business as part of our broader banking services, we recognise we will not be in a position to create the specialised focus required to effectively meet our customers’ needs into the future.
“We believe a dedicated focus, from a specialist provider, with the scale and reach of Bridges, will help to ensure our customers’ expectations can be met and that advisers can be supported in meeting future development needs as the industry moves to increase the level of professionalisation of the industry.
“Financial advice has created positive outcomes for our customers and has a positive impact on customer wellbeing.
“Our strategy is to focus on the success of our customers, people, partners and communities to be Australia’s bank of choice, and partnering has long been a core strength of our organisation. Entering into a partnership with Bridges, which is focused on the provision of financial advice, is consistent with our strategic partnering mindset and customer commitment. The agreement also aligns with our strategy to reduce complexity wherever possible within our business.
“Bridges is uniquely placed within the industry to partner with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to provide a great advice experience for our customers,” he said.
Bridges CEO, Nathan Stanton, explained why Bridges is a strong strategic fit with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.
“At Bridges, we have a proven track record of putting clients at the centre of everything we do and in partnering with like-minded, customer focused organisations to make a difference in our community. Our history of partnering with customer focused banks for more than 30 years, means customers can be confident they will continue to receive quality financial advice from a trusted partner,” he said.
In addition, as part of its overall review of the Bendigo Financial Planning model, the Bank will also sell its specialist Geelong West SMSF business to LBW Business & Wealth Advisors, one of Geelong’s largest locally-owned public accounting practices with a strong SMSF presence and Financial Planning arm.
The agreement with Bridges is expected to be effective from 1 August 2019. The agreement with LBW Business & Wealth Advisors is expected to be effective from 1 July 2019. Neither transaction will have a material impact on the Bank's earnings outlook.
About Bridges Financial Services
Established in 1985, Bridges, a subsidiary of the IOOF group, has grown to become one of Australia’s largest national financial planning and stockbroking organisations and has become the preferred partner for the customer-owned banking community. Bridges has more than 190 financial planners around Australia who are committed to providing quality financial advice, helping customers achieve their financial goals. To find out more about Bridges, visit www.bridges.com.au.
About LBW Business & Wealth Advisors
LBW Business & Wealth Advisors is one of Geelong’s largest locally owned public accounting practices. Its dynamic group of innovative professionals understand the need to evolve and remain ahead of industry developments in order to maintain a competitive edge in the market. LBW's strength is its commitment to collaborative, partner led relationships with clients and their businesses which lead to the best outcomes.
About Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is Australia’s fifth largest retail bank and a top 100 ASX listed company. It supports more than 1.6 million customers and delivers value for more than 110,000 shareholders, all powered by the expertise and dedication of more than 7,000 employees. The Bank has total assets of about $71.4 billion and market capitalisation of about $4.8 billion.