The corporate watchdog has commenced civil penalty proceedings against Colonial First State Investments Limited (CFSIL), and as a trustee for the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust for breaches of the ASIC Act and the Corporations Act.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) allege CFSIL sent misleading or deceptive communications to members of the FirstChoice Fund. This was regarding the provision of investment directions to stay within CSIL’s FirstChoice Fund rather than transitioning to CFSIL’s MySuper product.
“ASIC's case focuses on template letters sent to members, as well as, 46 telephone calls made in accordance with scripts. ASIC also alleges that CFSIL failed to provide a 'general advice warning' during the telephone calls in breach of s949A of the Corporations Act,” an ASIC announcement said.
“It is notable that a total of 8,605 members provided an investment direction keeping them in the existing product."
ASIC contended that the communications also amounted to breaches of CFSIL's obligations:
- To do all things necessary to ensure that the financial services covered by its financial services licence were provided efficiently, honestly and fairly, as required by s912A(1)(a) of the Corporations Act; and
- As a financial service licensee to comply with financial services laws, as required by s912A(1)(c) of the Corporations Act.