A document tabled as evidence before the royal commission has given the strongest indication yet that National Australia Bank is considering selling off its financial advice assets.
A file note written by NAB chief customer officer, consumer and wealth, Andrew Hagger and presented as evidence today confirms top brass bank executives are having internal discussions about a potential sale.
The file note refers to concerns former executive general manager, wealth advice, Greg Miller had about the “shaving” of bonuses for NAB leadership figures.
“[Miller] said that this was an important cultural symbol and that what the organisation was really encouraging then was for [beneficiary nominations] to be swept under the carpet in future,” the file note explained.
“[Miller] said we risked key departures and all at a time when there's a possibility we will look to sell the advisory business or parts of it in the coming year.”
While speculation about an impending sale of parts of the NAB Wealth business has been published by Fairfax Media publications, the evidence is the first on-record confirmation from senior NAB executives.
However, notwithstanding the evidence, when asked directly by counsel assisting Rowena Orr QC about a potential sale, Mr Hagger was coy on the witness stand.
“NAB is continually looking at our overall portfolio, but there's no announcement to make here today in the Royal Commission,” Mr Hagger said.
Commissioner Kenneth Hayne interjected:
“Might be some market sensitive information which we're inquiring about”.
The royal commission financial advice hearings continue today. Follow live: https://www.ifa.com.au/strategy/25404-royal-commission-financial-advice-hearings-live-blog
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