ANZ denies wealth division dropped in value

ANZ chief executive Shayne Elliott has rejected notions that the bank's wealth division had fallen in value, saying that industry regulation and increased compliance are part of what led to a business restructure.

ifa reported last week that ANZ will align its wealth products and services with its retail and commercial business. Group executive of wealth Joyce Phillips will step down as part of the restructure and ANZ Financial Planning will be transitioned.

In a statement, Mr Elliott said the changes anticipate an industry that is evolving.

"The industry around both insurance and investments is a fast, evolving one. There's a lot more regulation happening there, there's a lot more capital intensity, there's a lot more compliance issues to think about, and that really causes us to really question the operating model and the way that we run the business," Mr Elliott said.

He also rejected notions that the wealth business was not delivering enough value.

"I actually think having created this wealth division has generated a lot of value for shareholders and for our customers – it's been a good thing," he said.

"Joyce and the team have really done a lot of very positive things in terms of growing our market presence, growing our market share, launching innovative products – that's terrific and we want all of those things to continue.

"This is really just recognition that the world is changing ahead and now we're at a different stage of maturity and it's kind of the time for the next stage in its evolution," he said.

ANZ's wealth division shake-up comes as the non-aligned industry is speculating that more banks will follow the path of Suncorp and opt to walk away from owning financial adviser dealer groups.

Suncorp announced in November 2015 that it will cease to manage Guardian Advice and Suncorp Financial Planning licensees.

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