IOOF-owned dealer group Bridges Financial Services has announced it has purchased the financial advice business of Heritage Bank.
In a statement today, Bridges Financial said it has finalised negotiations to purchase Heritage Bank’s financial planning business, with a settlement occurring in December 2016.
This will allow Heritage to focus on the growth of their core business while Bridges delivers the ongoing provision of quality financial planning services, the statement said.
Heritage Bank chief executive Peter Lock said, “We are Australia’s largest mutual bank and as we expand our national presence, we knew we needed a different model for financial planning, rather than one based on a branch network in South-East Queensland.
Bridges Financial chief executive Nathan Stanton said, “Our long-term referral partnership with Heritage will continue to ensure financial planning remains a key component of the suite of services they provide to their customers.
“We are confident these changes will result in a more comprehensive customer service experience for people seeking financial planning advice through Heritage," he said.
“Our focus will be on seamlessly transitioning Heritage Bank’s financial planning customers to their new arrangement as quickly as possible."
The change involves the transfer of Heritage financial planning customers to Bridges Financial Services, with current advice and investments remaining unchanged.
“The priority is our customers, putting their best interests first and ensuring they have access to quality advice and service,” Mr Stanton said.
Some of the current Heritage financial planning staff members are also moving across to Bridges so most customers will keep their financial planner, the statement said.
According to Bridges, in some locations planners will continue to use Heritage branch premises for customer interviews and meetings.
The transition to Bridges would provide customers with an even broader range of financial planning options, Mr Lock said.
“We’re thrilled to partner with a company of Bridges’ stature to provide our customers with access to such high-quality services,” he said.
“Our customers will actually get a better overall service through us aligning with Bridges.”
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