More curveballs ahead for CBA’s ‘simpler, better bank’ demerger plan

More curveballs ahead for CBA’s ‘simpler, better bank’ demerger plan


The report also recommended a ban on grandfathered commissions and advice fees on MySuper superannuation accounts, a requirement to renew ongoing advice fees annually and to disclose any lack of independence. This will affect CBA’s wealth management business Colonial First State and its financial advice groups Count Financial and Financial Wisdom.

The demerger will be led by a former Westpac executive and marketplace lender, SocietyOne chief executive Jason Yetton, who was poached by CBA to lead NewCo.

‘Good progress’

Speaking to analysts on Wednesday after revealing its half-year result, CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said: “We’re making good progress on the transition and separation”.

However, Mr Comyn has not ruled out changes to the current demerger plan.

“Of course, in the context of the royal commission, we’re carefully considering those recommendations and we’re going to make sure that we set that business up for success,” he told the analysts.

He flagged CBA might move faster than competitors in adopting the royal commission recommendations, particularly that calling for a ban on deducting advice fees from MySuper accounts.

“We’re certainly prepared to move ahead of the industry in a number of key areas,” he said.

CBA already said last year it wouldrebate grandfathered commissions to customers from this month.

Later on Wednesday, Mr Comyn would not be drawn into a discussion about whether the demerger could proceed in its current form, other than saying the bank was “carefully considering all of the recommendations from the royal commission and how that might impact the demerger”.

CBA also said on Wednesday that theChinese regulatory approval process for the sale of its Chinese life insurer joint venture BoComm Lifewas taking longer than expected.

The plan to demerge NewCo, if it goes ahead in its current form, is expected to be completed late this calendar year.

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