Bank of Queensland exits insurance
BANK of Queensland has joined the ranks of lenders offloading life insurance after agreeing to sell its St Andrew’s unit for $65 million.
The regional lender yesterday said the sale of St Andrew’s Insurance to Freedom Insurance Group included a three-year distribution agreement for the provision of life insurance products to BOQ customers.
BOQ, which lifted first- half profit 4 per cent, expects the deal to result in a post-tax gain of about $8 million to be recorded in its full-year results.
The sale follows similar moves by ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank to cut their exposure to wealth management.
Chief executive Jon Sutton said the transaction made “strategic sense” for both par- ties. “St Andrew’s has made a strong contribution to the BOQ group since its acquisition in 2010, but industry and business dynamics have changed dramatically in recent years,” Mr Sutton said.
BOQ announced a firsthalf cash profit of $182 million, driven by a return to lending growth.
Home lending grew 3 per cent in the six months to February 28.
GOING UP: The Reserve Bank says interest rates will probably rise next year.