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CBA outlines next initiatives for SMSFs

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has revealed its four-pronged approach for its SMSF arm in the next 12 months is comprised of broadening its offer, filling any service gaps, simplifying its technology and investing in education.

“This year is about refining what we’ve already done, so how to make [our offer] stronger and more attractive, and also how to make the online SMSF portfolio view better,” CBA head of SMSF customers Marcus Evans told selfmanagedsuper.

“To help pull all our services together for our staff and customers, we created the SMSF specialist team whose role is to understand all the things we offer that are relevant to SMSFs – the team has been up and running for 18 months and fulfilling that role.

“We also had to fill in some of the gaps with an administration service and we’re considering other pieces within the CBA world that we could bring to the fore, so we have a number of things in development, particularly finding different ways to look at retirement income.

“We’ve also looked at making sure what we had from an online perspective was appropriate for SMSFs, so we added the SMSF portfolio view feature in October so that you could see all of your fund’s CBA-related product automatically and add other products through a single sign-on [portal].

“The fourth area is how we serve up content and education to our customer base.”

Evans said since the SMSF portfolio view’s launch in October, there was a lot of time spent on designing the SMSF arm’s strategy and roadmap for the next 12 months, including how to reach out to more SMSFs in a simplified way.

“We’re touching a lot of SMSFs, but we’re [focusing] on how to make it easier for them to understand the variety of products and services that we have,” he said.

“Maybe we’re not serving it up to SMSFs in the best possible and easiest way.

“It’s also about spending time to find out what they really want and build that in the best possible way so that they do use it and they do find value from it.”

Commenting on education, he said the overall aim was to ensure SMSFs were investing wisely.

“Fundamentally what we’re trying to do there is make sure we give a good, balanced education function,” he revealed.

“The other piece around this is just because you’re self-directed doesn’t mean to say you can’t benefit from advice.

“I think we’re starting to see that play out a bit in terms of the current trends in the market, with the move to defensive investment and assets along with lower return expectations.”

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