Incredible Shrinking Australian Banks Shed $13 Billion of Assets

(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s once-sprawling big banks just keep getting smaller.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia on Wednesday said it has sold its global asset management business for A$4.13 billion ($2.9 billion) to Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., as it returns to its domestic banking roots. Already this year Australia’s biggest lender has exited its Indonesian insurance unit and South African digital operation.

It’s not the only one slimming down, as the big banks exit businesses from life insurance to wealth advisory. Embattled wealth manager AMP Ltd. last week struck a deal to sell its life unit for A$3.3 billion. The value of assets sales by Australian financial firms over the past few years now exceeds A$18 billion, or $13 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

There has been some bumps along the way though. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. on Wednesday said it had scrapped plans to spin off its UDC Finance business in New Zealand. Even so, the Melbourne-based lender said it had sold or exited 21 businesses in the past three years.

Incredible Shrinking Australian Banks Shed $13 Billion of Assets

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