CBA completed its retreat from retail wealth management this week, announcing Tuesday it would shut down its remaining Commonwealth Financial Planning (CFP) network after completing a strategic review following its tie-up with insurer AIA Australia.

The bank will cease providing retail advice on November 30, with only its wholesale advice business Commonwealth Private continuing to service high-net-worth clients.

After selling its Comminsure Life business to AIA in 2019, CBA entered an advice referral arrangement through a “partial transfer” of its CFP business to the insurer in July this year. The salaried advisers are set to form the nucleus of AIA’s new Financial Wellbeing advice offering, which is scheduled to launch before the end of the year.

As part of the deal, CFP’s customers with life insurance, superannuation and wealth advice needs are to be referred to AIA Financial Wellbeing.

Rather than comprehensive advice, AIA’s new arm will offer what a representative called “advice on selected areas”, including personal and business insurance as well as “superannuation portfolio review and contributions, estate planning, and investing in managed funds”

While AIA note that the list isn’t exhaustive, it’s clear the intention is to pare the scope of advice services back from what CFP offered.

Only about a third of the CFP advice team are expected to come across as part of the transfer.

(In May this year, CFP had 211 advisers according to the Professional Planner Licensee Owners List, down from 278 at the same time in 2020. CBA’s wholesale Commonwealth Private network had 29 advsers at the time, down from 41 in 2020.)

In a media release to accompany the July deal, AIA hinted at the scaled back nature of the offering when it said the services would target “lower to middle-income Australians” with “simple wealth needs”.

“This is a transformational milestone in our dream to champion Australia to be one of the best advised, healthiest and best protected nations in the world,” CEO and managing director of AIA Australia and New Zealand, Damien Mu said. “Alongside AIA Financial Wellbeing, AIA Australia will continue to focus on partnerships with external financial advisers who provide valuable comprehensive advice to their clients.”