HSBC closes financial advice division in Australia

HSBC is silently exiting the financial advice sector in Australia after a strategic review in a move which follows three other banks currently in the process of disposing financial planning units in the country.

HSBC said it will continue to hold customers’ existing investments or insurance products, all of which are provided through third parties. The transition is expected to be finished by September 2018.

“We have ceased offering retail financial planning advice as it was a small part of our offering in which we lacked sufficient scale and potential for growth,” a HSBC spokesperson told Australian newspaper Financial Standard.

“Where redeployment was not possible, staff were made redundant,” the spokesperson added.

HSBC had 18 active financial advisers in December 2017. There were only five at the end of April 2018, according to ASIC’s register. The bank has not disclosed how many staff members are affected.

HSBC is the latest in a list of  major banks currently disposing their financial planning units in Australia.

Commonwealth Bank is demerging from wealth management, as reported by International Investment.

CBA will however retain Commonwealth Financial Planning which will sit within the retail banking services division.

NAB announced in early May it will sell off MLC Advice, along with its platform, superannuation and asset management units. In October 2017, ANZ offloaded its pension and investments arm.

In Australia, HSBC said it will focus on growing its presence via retail banking and wealth management by offering services such as online share trading, FX, home loans and a wide range of transactional banking products.

Pedro Gonçalves
Pedro Gonçalves is Financial Correspondent at International Investment.

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