Industry fund pays $12,600 over ‘independent advice’

Industry fund HostPlus has paid a $12,600 infringement notice penalty for making misleading claims about offering “independent advice”.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced the imposition of the infringement notice today noting that the claims about “independent advice” had been contained with in a recorded message on the fund’s consumer telephone number.

ASIC said that from at least July, 2016, to late March 2018 the recorded telephone message ferred to a free consultation available to members with an Industry Funds Services licensed financial planner. It then referred to the advice as independent.

It said that following a complaint, ASIC had had investigated and had become concerned that HostPlus and IFS were not independent of each other because HostPlus employees were appointed as authorised representatives to provide financial advice under the IFS license.

ASIC said that HostPlus had immediately removed the word “independent” from its telephone message.




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wow $12,600 ............... what is the penalty for a licensee or Adviser for doing the same ??

Again, a feather duster approach when it comes to Industry Funds who seem to just do what they want without fear of any real punishment !!

ASIC are following the Haynes commission recommendations. "Why not take it to court". Sorry that was a typo. Haynes is sooo last month.

Now ASIC just need to acknowledge that IFS and Industry Super Funds are vertically integrated. For too long Industry Super Funds have complained about banks being vertically integrated when in fact it's the industry super funds who are the worse offenders. I'd love to see if a member of HostPlus has been considered for another product, maybe AustralianSuper to receive Qantas Frequent Flyer points upon joining....

Oh yes Johnny....It's interesting that Australian Super doesn't advertise:...
" Spend $350.00 to get 20,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points"
Deal is that you need to join as a new member and make a minimum contribution to that fund of $350 within a 6 month period otherwise you don't get the points.
What has flying got to do with the Sole Purpose Test regulation of a superannuation fund....absolutely nothing !
In addition, on the Australian Super website they claim to be the most trusted superannuation brand, but if you dig a little deeper, it's a survey completed by none other than Readers Digest who assess the opinions of ....wait for it...over 2400 people!
Australian Super has over 2.3 million members so they claim they are the most trusted superannuation brand off the back of a Readers Digest brand survey that assessed a sample group of the equivalent volume of only .01% of their total fund member number !

First ever investigation by ASIC into an industry fund?

@Dark. Pretty low hanging fruit. A recording that states that they were 'independent'. Still took them over a year to investigate and release the findings.

All advice given should be audited. Any client who believed they received independent advice, should be compensated at least to the extent of payment for an independent Adviser of their choice to review the advice given and any products recommended to determine if the advice was in the best interests of the client. If inappropriate advice, well bring out the big sticks.

Shouldn't they pay that amount for each breach??? Because it's not like the phone message only ever got played once. If you ask me they got off very lightly...

Findex were fined $21,600 for using the word independent on their website. Why would a much larger influencer not have a commensurately large fine for misrepresenting their advice?
May be a 'Please Explain' from ASIC?

If this offense was committed by an IFA, teh fines would be more and the fallout greater. ASIC Yes are weak at the knees when it comes to dishing out fines to their friends at Industry Funds. There is no justice for what is a completely misleading statement targetting their members for a two year period.

Quote directly from a very large Industry Super Fund:
**** Advisers are a team of qualified financial planners who are SALARIED staff and do not receive a bonus or commission as a result of giving you advice.That means you can feel comfortable that ANY recommendations they make WILL ALWAYS HAVE YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART" !!!!!!
They may well have your best interests at heart, but as salaried employees paid directly and solely by the superannuation fund they solely represent, how is it possible that the Best Interest Duty is adhered to ?
Even if these advisers were to research alternative options in their advice process, how many recommendations are put forward which recommends the member moves their money or insurance to an entirely different platform or institution ?
The statement regarding "best interest at heart" does not and cannot translate to best interest in practice.
The relentless commentary surrounding grandfathered commissions being conflicted remuneration because the payment comes from the product provider to the adviser is no different in principle to an adviser being paid a salary funded from a product to provide advice in regard to that product....is this therefore conflicted advice and therefore conflicted remuneration for providing that advice ?
Being so called "paid by your master" must create a conflict of interest issue and cannot satisfy the Best Interest Duty of the member, but rather satisfies the best interest of the entity that pays you.
It is no different to being an AMP or National Mutual sole agent many years ago when you were paid to represent one organisation only. The advice process is very different of course, but the principle is effectively the same.

wont be reported in the ISF mouth piece the Age or if it is , will be fund with members interest at heart makes administrative slip up and ASIC "forced to act" due to pressure from banks.

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