ASIC spotlights industry fund vertical integration

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has drawn a direct commercial link between Industry Fund Services (IFS) and the industry superannuation funds which both use it and utilise its financial planning services.

In doing so, ASIC has made clear that it is prepared to treat industry superannuation fund structures in the same fashion as bank and other institutional structures where shareholdings and overlapping service agreements exist.

In a finding which has implications for 27 superannuation funds which are shareholders in IFS and as reported by Money Management yesterday, industry HostPlus was required to pay a $12,600 infringement notice issued by ASIC for making misleading claims about offering ‘independent advice’.

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However, the critical element in the ASIC approach was that the regulator formally expressed concern that “HostPlus and IFS were not independent of each other”.

It said this was the case because “HostPlus employees were appointed as authorised representatives to provide financial advice under IFS’ Australian financial services license, HostPlus paid service fees to IFS for adviser services and at the relevant time, HostPlus was a shareholder of IFS’ ultimate holding company”.

In doing so ASIC clearly referenced that HostPlus was a shareholder in in IFS alongside 26 other industry superannuation funds including some of the largest including AustralianSuper, UniSuper and Cbus.




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COULD IT BE??????

Is this the first step to a level playing field.

Not getting my hopes up yet tho....

And how many years has this been going on? And what are the betting odds of something happening?

Where is the outcry from the usual critics of vertical integration demanding tougher penalities? Bring back David Whitely. I'm sure if he had remained in his role with the Industry Super Funds network he would have had the courage to speak about this horrible misleading of innocent fund members.

An industry fund has a connection to a company called Industry Find Service. Wow go figure. I don’t recall the royal commission calling this out as an issue, but found lots to talk about in bank land.

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