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Daily Dispatches – Growing retail business but cutting wealth management jobs

Nabbing retail clients but cutting wealth jobs

Nabbing retail clients but cutting wealth jobs

Banking Day has carried a report from The Australian newspaper that one of the country’s big four banks, National Australia Bank (NAB) is developing a “second growth phase” for its consumer business, according to head of retail, Gavin Slater.

At the same time, NAB is reported to have cut 50 jobs from its wealth management arm in recent weeks, but declined to comment on the number of redundancies.

NAB is aggressively pursuing consumers, with Slater telling The Australian that the bank is a ‘net acquirer of customers, with four million customers’, adding that the brand is well-regarded; and staff engagement and profitability is good.

Trading down

Bloomberg reports today that Singapore has lowered its forecast for exports this year as China’s slowdown in growth crimps demand for the Lion City’s goods. The cutback comes at a time when Singapore’s services sector helped the economy grow more than initially estimated last quarter.

Kitano quits

Hajime Kitano, the only Japan-based equity strategist at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co., left last week after just over three months on the job, according to Bloomberg, which reported that Tokyo-based Morgan Stanley spokesman Natsuo Nishio has confirmed the departure. Kitano was the bank’s sole stocks strategist in Japan. Kitano previously worked at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Tax Shangri-La

If the balmy isles of Caribbean are not your style, then fear not – lovers of rugged mountains and mysticism can now turn to Tibet as the new home for tax-efficient structures. The Financial Times reports that the government of Shannan prefecture, which lies in Tibet between Lhasa and the Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, has started offering generous tax breaks and other sweeteners in an attempt to make itself a home for private equity funds and investment companies.

Growing momentum in insurance

As eFinancialCareers has reported in recent months, the insurance sector in Asia is growing aggressively, and this has been confirmed by new numbers released by the Life Insurance Association, and reported in Singapore’s Business Times.

Singapore’s life insurance industry booked a total of S$1.3 billion in weighted new business premiums for the first six months of the year, rising 24% from the same period last year.

Regular premium products accounted for the bulk of this, or S$983.8 million. This is 31% higher year-on-year. The LIA sees opportunities in areas such as health and retirement planning.CW

Go Lynda

The Business Times reports that Lynda Goh, deputy group CEO and group CFO of CWT Ltd has won the Best CFO Award for listed companies with a market capitalisation of S$300 million to S$1 billion at the Singapore Corporate Awards 2013.

The Best Chief Financial Officer Award is one of the awards under the auspices of the Business Times’ Singapore Corporate Awards to recognise financial leadership in listed companies. It recognises CFOs who play the important supporting and advocacy role in promoting good governance, disclosure and transparency; acknowledges CFOs who are exemplary role models in corporate financial disclosure by going beyond the regulatory financial reporting requirements; and honours CFOs who help create long-term shareholder value.

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