Regulators welcome larger role for ASIC in super sector

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ASIC and APRA have both welcomed proposed changes which would increase ASIC’s role in regulating the superannuation sector.

One of the recommendation of the Financial Services (Banking) Royal Commission was for ASIC and APRA to be co-regulators of superannuation. This would involve ASIC becoming the ‘conduct regulator’, while APRA remains the prudential and member-outcomes regulator.

The Government recently released draft legislation for consultation, which, if passed, would implement this recommendation.

ASIC has written to the trustees of all large super funds to draw their attention to the potential new powers.

In a statement, ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said: “ASIC and APRA have a shared commitment to improving the fitness of the superannuation system for Australians, and we strongly support these reforms.”

“The reforms will strengthen ASIC’s ability to effectively regulate superannuation trustee conduct and focus on consumer protection in our regulation of superannuation.”

“All trustees have an interest in a robust regulatory system, without gaps in member protection. We want to assure trustees that ASIC and APRA will work together to ensure the new regime is effective and to reduce duplication of regulatory effort.”

APRA Deputy Chair Helen Rowell said: “APRA welcomes ASIC having an expanded role in regulating a sector that is growing ever more integral to financial outcomes for Australians, and the broader economy. As the conduct regulator of the financial sector, ASIC has a critical role to play in tackling misconduct in superannuation, while APRA will continue to strengthen its focus on member-outcomes and prudential soundness.”

The joint letter from ASIC and APRA tells super funds about how the new regulatory oversight will operate, assuming the reforms become law. The letter explains how ASIC and APRA will work together to “more effectively promote better outcomes for members, acknowledging that in doing so consideration needs to be given to reducing regulatory burden”.

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