Australia’s six largest financial institutions continued to lose financial advisers over February in a trend that Bell Potter Securities warns is a risk to investors.
AMP, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, IOOF, NAB, and Westpac lost a net cumulative total of 87 advisers during February, with total losses for the five businesses coming to 804 for the last year, Bell Potter equities analyst Lafitani Sotiriou said in an e-mail to subscribers.
Mr Sotiriou added that AMP’s losses were notable given the business’ expenditure on its advice arm.
“AMP was particularly bad, notching its second worst month in the last year at -46 in February, which given the company is spending ~$80m a year buying advisers and advisers [sic] books, is mindboggling,” Mr Sotiriou said.
“These losses are a concern, given AMP is looking to sell its Life Company, where part of the attraction is its large distribution (which is declining at a rapid rate).”
“[We] reiterate our sell on AMP and IOOF.”
Mr Sotiriou said advisers were likely to continue leaving larger institutions at a faster pace as the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry continues.
“The move away from the large integrated institutional players continues, and we believe the current royal commission will only accelerate the move faster as we expect to hear stories that are likely to damage the aligned brands further,” he said.
“Incidentally, the number of advisers in the overall market is slightly up in the last twelve months, implying the independent players are getting bigger.”