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IFA demand drives BT results

BT Financial Group has attributed business growth announced yesterday in Westpac’s full-year financial results to demand from independent financial advisers.

Growth in BTFG’s life insurance and platform businesses has not been driven by distribution through Westpac-aligned financial planning channels, but through relationships with the non-aligned sector, BTFG chief executive Brad Cooper told ifa.

“We continue to support and focus on the independent financial adviser market and advisers have responded favourably to continued investment and innovation in our platforms,” Mr Cooper said.

Despite a marked drop in BT’s market share of the platform space – down from 21 per cent in 2012 to 19.5 per cent at 30 September 2013 – Mr Cooper said the platform business had performed well.

“Funds under administration have grown to more than $100 billion for the first time. We remain [number one] in our platform market share,” he said.

Life insurance results were also positive, he said, with market share growing to above 10 per cent, reflecting “the growing number of IFAs writing this product”.

More broadly, BTFG advice income saw a $32 million increase off the back of a growing number of financial planners joining BTFG dealer groups as well as increasing “planner productivity” and greater “customer facing time” for BT advisers.