Planning arm for BankWest

ONE month after completing the sale of its 50 per cent shareholding in Plan B Financial Services, BankWest has launched its own financial planning business.

BWA Financial Services aims to deliver a simple, straightforward financial planning service pitched at the bank’s existing customers in Western Australia.

The business has started with a team of six financial planners and could add up to a dozen extra planners over the coming year.

It will be headed by Robert Marie, BankWest’s director wealth management and insurance.

Mr Marie, who joined BankWest last year, has substantial sector experience with Perpetual Investments, online broker Sanford, Permanent Trustees, financial planning group Bridges and Macquarie Bank.

He said BWA’s financial planners would provide “a total financial service to our clients, including life insurance, superannuation and non-superannuation investments”. Mr Marie said BankWest would pursue cautious growth of the business.

While BWA may recruit some experienced financial planners, he said most of its planners would be bank staff who complete extra training in order to work up to financial planning.

BWA initially will use Asgard’s master trust as its standard investment platform.

The launch of BWA is the latest of many initiatives taken by the bank to boost its wealth management operation. It offered financial planning and funds management services for many years through its former trustee company, TrustWest.

TrustWest acquired some other financial planning firms, including Terrace Councellors, before merging with Precedent Financial Services in 2000.

The merged business, renamed Plan B, is back in the hands of its founding shareholders, Bryan Taylor and Craig Lubich, who agreed last month to purchase the Bank’s 50 per cent shareholding.


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