ASIC looks to super funds as advice providers

16 September 2019

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) expects that it will be superannuation funds which deliver most advice to low-balance clients.

Asked about whether advice was becoming less affordable in the wake of the Royal Commission and other regulatory changes, ASIC pointed to advice inside superannuation.

Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, ASIC commissioner, Danielle Press pointed to superannuation funds as being the likely conduit for advice delivery.

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Under questioning from former financial adviser and Queensland Liberal back-bencher, Bert Van Manen Press said the regulator was aware of unfilled advice needs and the changes to the system.

“Advice in superannuation as well, and I believe that much of advice that lower income Australians will receive is through their superannuation fund,” she said.

“Super funds both industry and retail have been providing advice for a long time,” Press said.

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Now that ASIC has eliminated personal advice, ASIC now has product providers providing general advice via employees staff paid for by all members and delivered to a few - how conflicted is that?
Well done ASIC - not.

When will ASIC work out that Super Funds work in their own interests not the members interests. Here we go again, years of work trying to separate advice from product and then they legislate it back in - wake up!!

FASEA code of ethics ( which is legally binding) , Standard must not advice, refer or act in any other manner where you have a conflict of interest or duty. Do these people even understand the laws they have created?

“Super funds both industry and retail have been providing advice for a long time”. Yet ASIC have never bothered to conduct any serious research on the quality of this utterly conflicted advice, which relies on loopholes and carve-outs to avoid consumer protections. It's time for a serious blow torch to be applied to ASIC. All power to Bert Van Mannen

...and no conflict of interest there at all......give yourselves the rest of the week off for coming up with that must be exhausted.

Bonuses (on top of the Intra-fund advice salaries) & Gym Memberships as well. To claim that intra-fund advisers are not conflicted is laughable. Actually its a total joke that the Union Fund have been rorting it in this area for years now. Better still, the funds can make massive profits off poorly paid (non advisory) staff to provide that general advice, if they're smart. This is a total racket.

Most of us suspect that ASIC has long been compromised by union bribes and corruption. Why else would they no longer disclose their 'gift' list to the public, and yet expect every planner, FP exec's and even pollies to disclose theirs?

Time for colonic investigation into the personal financial lives of every ASIC official dating back to the same 2008 timeline we have now been reopened to scrutiny on.

When looking at the behaviour of ASIC, it is becoming increasingly difficult to rule out corruption. Seriously, never an investigation into Industry Super, continual push to ban commissions yet Industry Super essentially has the same model just internally paid and call centre staff instead of Advisers, and run out of pages in a submission to the RC - REALLY. Try that at any level of education with any submission and it is a straight FAIL - they can't be that stupid - corruption seems to make more sense.

If ASIC view this is as an important advice channel, I am confident that they will audit the advice being given to members.

Not sure why you have confidence if it help you that great. ASIC has not investigated advice at Industry Super since 1992. Additionally, most of the advice given is general in nature so not much to investigate - but it is a great way to sell product and no red tape like best interest duty. Therefore any investigation will be clear sailing I suspect.

I'm trying to be positive about ASIC. There are just so many negative comments out there. Good point about general advice, however if ASIC is saying that Super funds will fill the void, are they believe super funds will be giving personal advice I think they would be concerned if "personal advice" suddenly disappeared and as they did with one of the banks they would investigate if personal advice was being mislabeled general advice.

So ASIC admit that the regulatory changes that have driven up the cost of advice will drive the very consumers it purports to protect to "advice" providers (super funds) that are not held to the same degree of scrutiny that personal financial advisers are. It would appear the "best interests" test doesn't always apply to policy decision-making.

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