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March 9, 2022

Westpac starts inviting bids for wealth management unit BT Panorama

Australian bank Westpac is seeking bids for its wealth management unit BT Panorama, Bloomberg reported citing undisclosed people familiar with the development.

The sources said that the bank is offering access to confidential information about the business to interested buyers.

A potential transaction may be worth around A$1.5bn, the sources told the publication.

The sources added that deliberations are currently underway and details of the sale, including size, may change.

BT Panorama caters to over 230,000 customers and manages approximately A$105bn in assets.

The platform enables clients to review their investment options and select from a number of managed account solutions. It has 6,000 advisers.

In August last year, service failures at BT Panorama blocked customers and financial advisers from transacting and receiving statements for several days.

The bank, in its 2021 full-year results presentation, said that the outage did not result from an information security issue and the cause has been rectified.

Westpac is moving to offload as part of a strategy to pull the plug on its wealth, life insurance, pensions, and auto finance businesses.

In May 2020, the bank combined these businesses under a new division called Specialist Businesses with a plan to sell them off.

Last year, a report by Street Talk said that Westpac hired Morgan Stanley to advise the bank on the sale of its wealth management businesses.

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