The degree to which the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has used its powers to eliminate the payment of commissions to financial advisers by superannuation funds has been revealed by its latest review of regulatory relief applications.
The ASIC document has revealed that while the regulator was prepared to grant disclosure relief with respect to transfers between superannuation funds with the same trustee, it used the process to oblige the superannuation fund to act on commissions.
The regulator said it had provided an extension of relief to the superannuation on the basis that while the transfer involved a change of fund for the member, the member would still subsequently hold a superannuation that contained substantially the same rights and features.
However, one of the conditions ASIC saw fit to impose conditions on the superannuation fund related to commissions and the ability of adviser clients to end those arrangements without having to first contact the adviser.
“We also imposed further conditions to relief under the extension so that the trustee must: (a) provide members whose accounts are charged commissions with a notice to highlight the trustee’s arrangements under which members may give a direction to the trustee that it immediately cease charging commissions without any need for the member to contact the person to whom the commissions are being paid; and (b) further highlight those arrangements prominently on its website.”