ANZ has responded to claims that it is exploring the sale of its life insurance arm, saying it is “not appropriate” to comment on market speculation while the bank is still conducting an internal review of its wealth business.
Speaking to Risk Adviser, an ANZ spokesperson said it was "not appropriate" to comment on market speculation while the review is ongoing. Reuters reported earlier this week that the bank is having discussions around the sale of the life insurance business.
"ANZ's chief executive Shayne Elliott announced in January that Alexis George, the managing director of the bank's Wealth Australia business, would be undertaking a strategic review of the business," the spokesperson said.
"That internal review is expected to be completed mid-year and any recommendations are expected to be considered by ANZ during the third quarter.
"It's not appropriate to comment on market speculation in the interim."
According to Reuters, ANZ is exploring plans to sell part or all of its life insurance and pension product development unit, valued at $4 billion.
In March, the bank announced it would restructure its wealth management business, with the changes to include the departure of group executive of wealth, Joyce Phillips, and the transition of ANZ Financial Planning.
In a statement, ANZ said it would "simplify" its approach to wealth management and align the wealth products and services with its retail and commercial business.
Ms Phillips departed ANZ to "pursue her successful financial services career". Other changes included the transition of ANZ Financial Planning into the retail distribution division.
"Over the past decade," Mr Elliott said, "ANZ has made significant investments in its insurance, superannuation and investments business to consolidate its position as a leading player in Australia and New Zealand with strong market shares in key segments."