Commonwealth Bank of Australia's online brokerage operation CommSec has acquired the Australian business of TD Waterhouse Investor Services.
Financial details of the sale, which is expected to close on 1 May, have not been disclosed. Clients will be transferred to CommSec Australia by 4 July 2003.
Karen Buck, managing director of TD Waterhouse Australia, comments: "While we were meeting financial targets, the need for scale is critical in a relatively small market such as Australia and we saw limited opportunity to grow the business organically."
TD Bank says the withdrawal from the retail markets does not affect its commitment to its institutional wholesale banking operations in Australia through TD Securities.
Michael Katz, group executive responsible for CommSec, says that the acquisition represents a good strategic fit and is likely to deliver cost synergies. "Our organisations are culturally similar, our clients are similar, and we both share a customer service mindset and technology leadership," he says.
TD's retreat from the Australian discount brokerage market follows a commitment by the Canadian bank to deal with underperforming business assets. Earlier this month TD Bank announced plans to restructure the international unit of its wealth management business and streamline its operations in the UK.