June 12, 2019 / 11:20 PM / 3 days ago

Commonwealth Bank of Australia disposes advisory firm Count Financial

FILE PHOTO: A man leaves the Commonwealth Bank of Australia building in central Sydney, Australia, February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

(Reuters) - Australia’s Commonwealth Bank of Australia on Thursday said it had agreed to sell advisory firm Count Financial Ltd to CountPlus Ltd for A$2.5 million ($1.7 million).

Australian lenders are disposing their non-core businesses amid intense pressure to improve customer outcomes after a public inquiry last year exposed widespread wrongdoing in the financial sector, triggering nearly A$8 billion in remediation costs so far.

CBA said it would provide an indemnity, the protection against a loss or other financial burden, to CountPlus of A$200 million, representing a potential contingent liability of $56 million in excess of the previously disclosed customer remediation provisions that CBA has made for Count Financial.

Australia’s largest lender also said it would continue to support and manage customer remediation matters arising from past issues at Count Financial, including after completion of the transaction.

CBA also said it intended to sell the 35.9% stake it holds in CountPlus. CountPlus, in turn, has equity holdings in 15 Count Financial member firms.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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