The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer has launched a direct attack on the Industry Super Network (ISN) and its expenditure of superannuation funds money on television advertising campaigns.
Addressing the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia, O’Dwyer removed any doubts about the direction of the Government’s legislative amendments on governance and the terms of terms of reference of the upcoming Royal Commission into the Banking and Financial Services Industry.
While telling the ASFA conference the Government’s legislation was aimed at both industry and retail funds, she then stated: “It is disappointing that some industry participants have used members’ money in a multimillion dollar advertising campaign and lobbying effort in their bid to defeat increased transparency and accountability in the sector. One can only wonder why”.
Elsewhere in her speech, O’Dwyer also committed to pursuing the financial services legislation already on foot in the Parliament, including the establishment of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
As well, she defended the Government’s actions in the financial planning space arguing that changes such as those flowing from the Life Insurance Framework (LIF) and the new education and professionalism standards were justified.
“We have legislated to lift the professional, educational, and ethical standards of financial advisers, as overseen by the Government’s new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority; and to limit the incentives paid to advisers for the sale of life insurance products, to ensure that consumers are treated fairly,” O’Dwyer said.
“We have significantly bolstered the powers and resources of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and have introduced industry funding for the regulator, to make sure that that those financial firms who cause the need for regulation, pay for it.
“And critically, we have legislation before the Parliament now which will establish the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), a one-stop-shop to provide consumers of financial products and services with independent and timely access to justice, and access to compensation where appropriate. AFCA will be a game changer in improving how financial disputes are dealt with in Australia.”