Intra-fund advice is not special says ASIC

Critics are wrong when they suggest that intra-fund advice is held to less demanding standards than other forms of personal advice, according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

In an article published on its website and in an Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) publication, ASIC has insisted that financial advisers giving intra-fund advice must comply with the full range of consumer protection requirements in the Corporations Act.

ASIC’s explanation of the standing of intra-fund advice has been delivered at the same time as it has confirmed it is currently finalising a review of a sample of intra-fund advice provided earlier this year, after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“ASIC holds intra-fund advice to the same standards and stringent rules as other personal advice. Accordingly, financial advisers must act in the best interests of their client and comply with related obligations, regardless of whether they are providing intra-fund advice or other personal advice,” the regulator said.

“Many Australians don’t know how their superannuation fund can help them. Trustees offering personal intra-fund advice can help their members by clearly explaining what advice is provided at no individual cost.

“ASIC expects advisers providing intra-fund advice to clearly explain that the advice is limited to certain topics about the member’s superannuation. Where a member’s personal circumstances require advice beyond the scope of intra-fund advice, advisers should let them know what options they have for seeking comprehensive financial advice.”

“Advice providers must also exercise their judgement in appropriately scoping the advice they provide. If they cannot act in the best interests of the member due to the limitations of intra-fund advice, they should not provide the advice. Instead, they should refer the member elsewhere.”

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Reminds me of animal farm - thou shall not kill another animal (without due cause) All animals are equal (but some are more equal than others). The FASEA boil has been lanced, ASIC should be next. We need a new governing body which is chaired by experienced, practicing advisers like other professions. Sick of these dick head government bureaucrats with no clue about financial advice and not willing to properly consult and work collaboratively with the profession.

Move right along, NOTHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS.
Industry Super can do whatever the hell they like.
- Vertical Integration sales of only their own in house products.
- Hidden Commission's charged to Every Member to pay for Intra Fund (PERSONAL ADVICE) & Call Centre Unqualified Sales of only their in-house products
- Massive Fees for No Service to majority of members that don’t get Advice / Sales. ($100 MILLION PA)
- Life Insurance Commissions on massive scale Non Disclosed.
- Industry Super Propaganda news paid for by super members balances.
APRA and ASIC'S total Regulatory Capture protection racket will never do anything against Industry Super's intrafund advice.

Lets add to this list;
- Use members funds to own a bank (ME) that is no profitable and has never paid a dividend
- Boards of the funds using their power to help union members with employer pay disputes (putting half a dozen workers ahead of their million members)

You are sooo wasting your time!! Some bloke even wrote to the PM last year to complain about intra-fund advice and it made absolutely no difference.....

It will be interesting to see what the ASIC report shows so we will just have to wait until then.

I am that bloke. The upside is that is a lot of backbenchers & Senators are a lot more aware now of how Intrafund advice works & how it benefits the Union Super Funds. With politics, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

ASIC is quite correct. But intra fund advice is a red herring. It is a distraction from the main game.

Most super fund advice is given by unlicensed sales and call centre staff as "general advice" utilising the super fund carve out for unlicensed employees. As such there is no legal requirement for consumer protections such as Best Interests Duty, SoA, or the FASEA Code.

However in most cases the advice these employees give is not actually general advice at all. It is personal advice because the person they are talking to will usually have a reasonable expectation the advice provider is taking their personal circumstances into account. Their personal information has generally been disclosed to the advice provider as part of a "workplace consultation" session, or in the case of call centre staff it is on the screen in front of them.

This is not intra fund advice. It is not general advice given under the super fund employee carve out. It is illegal personal advice given without all the normal consumer protections. This is where the investigative focus needs to be.

Oh, I've met with many hard working mining folk and the conversation went like this:

"Some guy came and spoke to us as a group about their fund and then we rolled all my funds into this"

Do you have a statement of advice?

What's that?

Then I'm looking at the fund. 2% management costs + insurance that is double the price of the same cover elsewhere. Clients are fleeced by the vertically integrated corporate funds.

Still fee for no service.... its even worst then commissions these fees were for ongoing service, the funds are already charging a admin fee for this... The above suggests they are charging all members for personal advice they might not receive. #banIntraFundFees

Head line should read Super funds given green light to charging all members from this super fund for personal advice they might never receive, commissions are ban and so should intra fund commissions

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