Banking Royal Commission turns attention to superannuation

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has started public hearings into superannuation.

Superannuation hearings – Day Ten: regulators and policy

In the final day of the Royal Commission superannuation hearings we are set to hear from ASIC and APRA, concluding with a summary of policy issues by Counsel Assisting.

Michael Hodge QC grilling APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell on AMP. Hodge:Do you know if AMP’s policies & processes are regarded as adequate by APRA? Rowell: Yes we have undertaken reviews & made observations about where policies, processes could be strengthened #bankingRC @abcnews Read more...

ASIC takes aim at super sector ahead of Royal Commission hearings

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

The Chair of ASIC has taken aim at the financial services industry, in particular superannuation, weeks out from when the regulator will appear before the Banking Royal Commission.

ASIC Chair James Shipton told the Financial Services Council summit that there was a “trust deficit” facing the financial sector, including the superannuation industry.

He said: “To be blunt, there has been too much focus in many parts of the superannuation sector on exploiting opportunities to make money from Australians instead of focusing on the responsibilities that come from being the custodians of other people’s money.” Read more...

Banking Royal Commission announces superannuation hearing topics

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

The Banking Royal Commission has announced the superannuation topics and entities set to appear in the next round of hearings.

The Banking Royal Commission is holding the hearings on superannuation from Monday August 6 to Friday August 17.

The Terms of Reference for the Banking Royal Commission require it to inquire into:

“whether the use by financial services entities of superannuation members’ retirement savings, for any purpose, does not meet community standards and expectations or is otherwise not in the best interests of those members;” Read more...

Superannuation investors say AMP resignations only first step needed

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) has welcomed the resignation of AMP Chair Catherine Brenner, as a “belated gesture of board accountability” following revelations at the banking Royal Commission, but says more action is needed.

AMP also today announced that Group General Counsel and Company Secretary Brian Salter  will leave the company, with the forfeiture of his outstanding deferred remuneration. AMP CEO Craig Meller resigned with immediate effect on 20 April, part way through the Royal Commission’s latest public hearings. Read more...

Improperly witnessing binding nominations was common practice at NAB

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

Improperly witnessing superannuation binding nominations was a common practice amongst NAB staff, potentially leaving the documents invalid, the banking Royal Commission has heard.

The Royal Commission heard about a husband and wife who were NAB customers and wished to nominate each other as beneficiaries using non-lapsing binding death benefit nominations, which must be signed and dated by two witnesses. One of the witnesses was the financial adviser, and the other was seemingly a customer service officer working for the adviser. Read more...

Rolling over to SMSF would have cost client $500,000

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

The banking Royal Commission has heard how advice to rollover superannuation to an SMSF would have cost a client around half a million dollars if they hadn’t noticed the issue themselves.

The Royal Commission heard how a customer sought financial advice, particularly around then-upcoming superannuation changes.

The client told the financial adviser that they were not interested in setting up an SMSF, but the adviser “persisted in promoting a self-managed superannuation fund”, the Commission was told. Read more...

More bad SMSF borrowing advice revealed at Royal Commission

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

The banking Royal Commission has heard of more bad superannuation advice, including around borrowing to buy property using SMSFs.

The Royal Commission heard how Adam Palmer, an adviser with Genesys Wealth Advisers – an AMP dealer group – was advising clients set up SMSFs to buy property, involving a company he part-owned.

It one case it seems that clients wishing to renovate their home were advised to establish SMSFs, roll their existing superannuation into the SMSF, and use it to purchase an investment property. There was no evidence that their risk tolerance was assessed. Read more...

ACTU calls on industry super funds to reconsider relationship with banks

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has called on industry super funds – which include union representatives – to reconsider their relationships with the banks in light of the behaviour uncovered by the banking Royal Commission.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus has written to the CEOs of industry super funds asking them to “reconsider their relationships with dodgy banks”. It is unclear from the statement if this extends to investments in the banks, or is limited to other interactions. Read more...

Government struggling to justify not setting up Royal Commission sooner

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

Senior members of the Government continue to struggle to justify their previous opposition to a banking Royal Commission in light of the revelations at before the Hayne Royal Commission.

In an interview on ABC Insiders on Sunday the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer repeatedly refused to answer if the Government was wrong to oppose setting up a bank Royal Commission.

When Minister O’Dwyer was asked if the Government was right or wrong to delay establishing the Royal Commission the Minister said: “I’ve said we’ve established it. We have in fact established it.” Read more...

Banking Royal Commission funding coming from enforcement budget

The Banking Royal Commission has commenced hearings into superannuation.

Funding for the banking Royal Commission has been taken the budget for enforcement, a senior Government Minister has revealed.

Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, was speaking with RN Drive. Asked if had any regrets in light of testimony at the Royal Commission, the Minister answered “no”.

“We were taking action. There was funds that instead of going to a Royal Commission were going to be spent on enforcement of standards. And everything comes with an opportunity cost,” he said. Read more...