October 29, 2018 / 8:25 PM / 10 months ago

Australia's AMP says banking arm to cut fees

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Australia’s AMP Ltd said on Monday its banking arm would reduce or remove 20 fees to simplify its product offering to customers, after saying last week it was losing clients at its flagship wealth management division.

The troubled wealth manager, which has admitted at a government-backed inquiry to having charged customers for advice they never received and misleading regulators, said it would remove nine special service fees and reduce a further 11 across its deposit and lending products, effective Nov. 30.

In a statement on its website, AMP added that the fees being reduced were one-off transaction fees and that the bank planned to further simplify fees next year, including mortgage fees.

Customers in legacy transaction accounts will be moved to up-to-date products, it said.

The announcement comes after the 170-year-old company said last week it would sell its life insurance arm at a discount and revealed that its funds were rapidly losing cash as clients pulled out their money in response to revelations of systematic wrongdoing.

Withdrawals soared to about A$1.5 billion in the third quarter, from A$243 million in the second. The division had total assets under management of A$132.6 billion at the end of the quarter.

Shares fell 25 percent in response to the news last Thursday, to a record low. The stock has halved since the inquiry into the Australian finance sector began in February. (Reporting By Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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