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Dr. Mark Sinclair
Dr. Mark Sinclair, Mentor Education

CBA targets younger customers with new superannuation product.

28 June 2013

The Commonwealth Bank has targeted its small business and younger customers by rolling out its low-cost, life-stage superannuation product Essential Super.

The product is a joint initiative between CBA’s Retail Banking Services and its wealth management division Colonial First State (CFS) and is designed for everyday branch customers and small businesses that employ up to 10 people.

Essential Super will be linked to Netbank, CBA’s online banking platform allowing customers to view and manage their superannuation within Netbank, alongside their transaction and savings accounts.

The default option – Lifestage – places customers into an investment mix based on their age using a ‘life cycle’ approach, and is comparable to BT’s Super For Life and ANZ’s Smart Choice Super allowing customers to be able to choose their own balanced, Australian shares or cash options.

CFS executive general manager Linda Elkins has said that, “the primary target is younger people starting out in their job who are looking for a simple product that’s easy to take with them throughout their career in their life.”

The money will be managed by the FirstChoice multi-manager team, under the supervision of general manager for product and investments, Peter Chun. Chun has said on the branding of the product, that “the reason we branded it Essential Super when we did our customer research was that this offering was going to appeal to people that did’t want the complexity of lots of investment choice.”

There has been speculation that the new product may pose a threat to financial planner but Ms Elkins refuted the speculation by adding that, “Essential Super poses no threat to financial planners and will not be marketed via the advice channel. It is aimed at young, disengaged Australians who do not want or need advice but will be offered the services of financial planners at significant junctures in their life cycle.”

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