Satisfaction with super fund falls while Royal Commission looking at sector

Consumer satisfaction with the financial performance of their super funds has fallen at the same time as the Banking Royal Commission was holding hearings into the sector.

Comparing statistics released by Roy Morgan Research for August 2018 to figures for June 2018 finds there was generally a fall in consumer satisfaction with the performance of their funds, particularly for people with larger balances, over the period. The Banking Royal Commission held its first public hearing in March 2018, but held the hearings into superannuation in August. Read more...

Treasurer will be responsible for responding to Banking Royal Commission

The Treasurer will be responsible for responding to the Banking Royal Commission. However superannuation will be divided between the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced the ‘Treasury portfolio arrangements’, mostly clearing-up who is responsible for what. It was initially unclear what areas would be within the purview of Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert.

Treasurer Frydenberg will be responsible for the “development of the budget, economic and fiscal policy, taxation and superannuation policy” and “responding to the Banking Royal Commission” – which is also looking into broader financial services and superannuation. Read more...

How can regulators be encouraged to act on misconduct?: Banking Royal Commission

“What can be done to encourage the regulators to act promptly on misconduct or potential misconduct?” That is one of the questions put to the Banking Royal Commission by Counsel Assisting in the closing submission on the recent superannuation hearings.

At this stage the Banking Royal Commission is more questions than answers, though this is likely to change as the issues raised in hearings and submissions lead to recommendations in the interim report in September, followed by the final report by the start of February 2019. Read more...

Super fund members vulnerable, have been taken advantage of: Banking Royal Commission

Super fund members are vulnerable – like most beneficiaries – and many are disengaged and disadvantaged by a lack of financial literacy, Counsel Assisting Mr Hodge QC has told the Banking Royal Commission.

He said that members are “readily able to be taken advantage of”, and the evidence suggests that this has occurred in some cases.

“In most industries, the forces of competition can be relied upon to minimise improper conduct and effective regulation can be expected to address breaches of the law when breaches occur. However, for superannuation, the disengagement of members, amongst other things, may limit the effectiveness of competition.” Read more...

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...