NAB to exit wealth and MLC

National Australia Bank has confirmed its intention of exiting its wealth management business in Australia, excluding JB Were and nabtrade.

The big banking group confirmed its intention while releasing its half-year results to the Australian Securities Exchange today declaring it intended to focus on its core strengths and to move to a simpler wealth offering.

“We intend to exit our other wealth management businesses including MLC,” it said, adding that it was targeting separation by the end of 2019.

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It said it was looking at market options including demerger and initial public offering along with maintaining the flexibility to consider a trade sale.

The announcement came as NAB reported what it described as a “solid” statutory net profit for the first half of $2,583 million on cash earnings of $3,289 million.

However, it was the sale of the wealth business which garnered the most attention with the banking group saying it was “reshaping wealth management” in a move that was “consistent with our plan to become simpler, faster and focused on core banking”.

The ASX announcement said a detailed review, conducted over nine months, “determined that we could best serve the needs of our customers and deliver long term value for our shareholders by retaining and investing in a more focussed wealth offering”.

On the basis of this it said NAB intended to “exit our Advice, Platform and Superannuation and Asset Management businesses, currently operating under MLC and other brands”.

“Independent ownership will allow for this business to determine its own strategy and investment priorities to better deliver for customers and enhance its competitive position,” it said.

The ASX announcement added that it was expected that ongoing arrangements between NAB and MLC would be maintained to offer NAB customers continued access to advice and products to meet their wealth management needs.

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Getting out of anything do do with personal advice, but keeping the stockbroking businesses,. I wonder if this is because these operate under different regulations. We live in strange times. Love or hate them, when banks start walking away from business there is something very wrong, and their analysts/experts do not believe a fix is possible.

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