The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has accepted an enforceable undertaking for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and ANZ under which the banks have agreed to change the way they distribute superannuation products.
ASIC investigated CBA’s distribution of its Essential Super product and ANZ’s distribution of its Smart Choice Super and Pension Product through bank branches, and found employees tended to offer those products to customers at the end of a fact-finding process.
The regulator was concerned that the proximity between the fact-finding process and the discussion about the super products had led CBA and ANZ staff to provide personal advice to customers about their superannuation, where they were only authorised to give general advice.
ASIC was concerned the proximity may have caused customers to believe that the branch staff were considering risks specific to them, rather than just providing general advice.
CBA and ANZ would be required to each make a $1.25 million community payment.
ASIC Deputy chair, Peter Kell, said ASIC would continue to proactively monitor how complex financial products such as superannuation are sold.