Advisers drive industry fund bank flows
The industry fund-owned ME Bank has tripled its holdings in customer cash and term deposits over the past three years on the back of increased interest from financial advisers.
The bank now has around $7 billion in cash and TDs, with around one quarter or $1.7 coming from the adviser segment.
ME Bank general manager network sales and relationships Michael Donohue told ifa the bank didn’t really have an adviser channel prior to around 2009, but identified the sector as a “meaningful component”.
ME Bank has “recently upgraded our treasury service with a new premium offering for advisers, increasing our ability to attract deposits from the adviser market,” he said.
There is “an opportunity to grow in partnerships with different financial advisers and advice groups,” he added.
The group’s products are on most of the bigger platforms, but rather the group is trying to meet with the dealer groups and get closer to the advisers themselves to give them some more information about ME bank.
“We’re just trying to put ourselves in the frame with what is a generally simple product; the key thing is giving [advisers] confidence in ME bank and our service,” Donohue said.
“We’ve improved our offering in terms of our service provision to IFAs (independent financial advisers) and stockbrokers… we’ve seen a big step up in deposits from those sectors.”
Donohue said ME Bank is still a relatively small player in the market and “the opportunity to expand is still significant” – even in an environment where cash and term deposits are coming to represent a smaller part of client portfolios.
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