Australia's Financial Planners Are Splitting Up With The Banks And Going It Alone

Getty/Lars Baron

Cracks are beginning to appear in the domination of Australia’s major banks in the wealth management industry via vertical integration with Fortnum Financial Adviser cutting ownership ties with ANZ by buying back the bank’s stake in the business.

This is the second major group to cut ties with one of the big 5 wealth management giants (the majors plus AMP) with Ethical Financial Advice leaving the CBA’s financial planning arm, Financial Wisdom, back in June.

This move comes amid signs that the Murray inquiry is looking closely at the structure of Australia’s wealth management industry and in particular the vertical integration that sees the banks create products for investment, sell them through their “wrap” platforms and own planning groups or tie them to that platform.

The SMH reports this morning the planning industry isn’t waiting for changes and has actively sought to improve ownership and planner transparency with the establishment of a national register which would include “the name of each adviser, their education qualifications, professional membership, details of any complaints or sanctions, the licensee, and who owns the licence.”

The paper says the banks are not keen on the inclusion of the “who owns the licence” part of the register which suggests it might be a good idea.

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