Suncorp highlights difficulties with dealer groups
Suncorp Group has pointed to a "difficult" ownership structure between the company and its dealer groups which it says had the perception of being "independent".
Speaking at a media briefing following release of the group's half-year financial results yesterday, Suncorp Group chief executive Michael Cameron said the decision to walk away from the management of the two dealer groups has represented a "very smooth" transition, further pointing out that the advice businesses were not a large part of the company.
"It is very difficult sometimes for an organisation with their own products to own a company that has the perception of being independent," Mr Cameron explained.
"You really have to question, in any organisation, having those sorts of dealer groups on board."
Mr Cameron added he did not believe the exiting of the advice businesses will "hurt" future earnings.
"We have seen a fairly seamless transition as we have exited that business, and the majority of the planners associated with that business have moved on to new financial planning organisations," he said.
"Probably the most important thing is what has happened to the customers and they have continued to be well-serviced and without any issues.
"Our focus is really on the direct channel [in] which we have seen significant growth of about 20 per cent period-on-period, and that seems to be where the interest is from a customer perspective and I think we have executed that process in a very diligent way," Mr Cameron added.
During the group's half-year financial results announcement, Suncorp Group reported a net profit after tax of $530 million, down 16 per cent on the previous corresponding period.
Across the group's life insurance business, Suncorp reported a net profit of $53 million, down from $86 million in the previous corresponding period.
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