An institutionally owned dealer group has acquired the financial advice business of NSW’s oldest building society.
In a statement, IMB Bank said it would sell its financial planning business to Bridges Financial Services effective 1 May 2020.
"The arrangement will see Bridges take ownership of IMBFP’s advice business assets and provide ongoing financial planning and advice to IMB’s members via an exclusive referral arrangement," IMB Bank said in a statement.
The group's chief executive, Robert Ryan, said the sale of the business would provide its financial advice clients with a wider range of specialised services than was currently available to them.
"Following a comprehensive review of our options, Bridges was chosen as they offered a compelling financial planning proposition for our clients, supported by a strong presence across our key markets which will benefit our members into the future," Mr Ryan said.
"Bridges provides financial planning services to approximately 60 per cent of the mutual banking industry and understands and respects the principles of customer-owned banking, and its values and commitment to providing quality specialised financial planning advice closely aligns with ours."
Bridges CEO Nathan Stanton said the dealer group was delighted to be able to work with one of the country's largest member-owned organisations and give their clients the opportunity to be able to access comprehensive advice.
"Bridges has grown to become one of Australia’s largest national financial planning and stockbroking organisations and, during this time, has become the partner of choice for the customer-owned banking industry," Mr Stanton said.
The sale would involve the transfer of IMB Financial Planning clients to Bridges with current advice and investments remaining unchanged, the statement said. Current IMB Financial Planning advisers and administration staff would transition to Bridges.
The two parties said as a result of the sale, "many" client-planner relationships would remain unchanged.
"Financial advice remains an important part of our suite of services and we will refer members seeking financial advice to Bridges under a referral relationship," Mr Ryan said.
"We remain committed to our purpose of providing simple, authentic member-owned banking, and we believe Bridges will further enhance and enrich our offering."
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