The Royal Commission has questioned whether the Superannuation Industry Supervision (SIS) Act should be amended to preclude the type of advertising put in place by Industry Super Australia and funded by major industry funds such as AustralianSuper.
The Royal Commission has also been told that it is open to the Commission to find that hospitality industry fund Hostplus may have engaged in conduct falling below community standards and expectations in communications which did not take members best interests into account.
The Royal Commission has also questioned the corporate hospitality spending of Hostplus and suggested that the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act (SIS Act) could be amended to preclude such activity in future.
But while finding that the SIS Act could be amended to better cover political advertising and corporate hospitality, counsel assisting the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, Michael Hodge QC stopped short of finding any wrongdoing on the part of AustralianSuper.
His closing submission said it was not open to the Commissioner, Kenneth Hayne, to find any of the conduct raised at the Royal Commission constituted misconduct falling short of community standards and expectations.
This compared with counsel assisting’s approach to National Australia Bank, the Commonwealth Bank and IOOF.
Hodge suggested that in relation to NAB it was open to the Commission to find there had been both misconduct and conduct falling below community expectations with respect to transfer to MySuper, trailing commissions and fee for no service.
In relation to IOOF, Hodge suggested that it was open to the Commissioner to find the company had been guilty of misconduct and conduct falling below community expectations.
Hodge also suggested that Commonwealth Bank was also open to findings that its conduct had fallen below community standards and expectations across its handling of a range of issues including in relation to the selling of superannuation products via bank branches and fee for no service.