The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has defended its handling of intra-fund and limited advice delivered by superannuation funds in the face of questioning within a key Parliamentary Committee.
Asked to explain why ASIC had not taken action against superannuation fund limited personal advice given the compliance rates outlined in the regulator’s Report 639, ASIC declared “We do not consider limited advice to be a dangerous form of advice”.
NSW Liberal back-bencher, Jason Falinski had filed questions on notice to ASIC within the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services in which he compared the level of action initiated by ASIC around advice inside superannuation when compared to the action it took around its Report 413 involving life insurance advice.
Falinski referred to limited personal advice as being a “very dangerous form of advice” and suggested it was doing consumer harm and asked what action ASIC was taking to shut it down.
He also suggested that because ASIC had taken pre-emptive action against real estate agents and questioned why ASIC had not taken similar action with respect to limited personal advice provided by superannuation funds.
Answering the questions, ASIC said it was “very supportive of the provision of good quality limited advice”.
“We do not consider limited advice to be a dangerous form of advice,” the regulator aid.
ASIC said that it also did not believe that the delivery of limited personal advice by superannuation funds was “analogous to the possible inadvertent provision of unlicensed financial advice by some real estate agents”.
The ASIC answer also dismissed an admonition in Falinski’s questioning that it give a commitment to exercising its regulatory duties “without favour and in an impartial way”.
“ASIC always undertakes its regulatory duties in a diligent and appropriate matter,” the regulator’s answer said.