Industry funds advertising to be scrutinised

IFM Investors AustralianSuper tim wilson greg combet covid-19 BT Super Suncorp mercer advertising

5 November 2020
| By Mike |
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AustralianSuper and IFM Investors again face Parliamentary Committee questioning this week as the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics places a focus on superannuation fund advertising.

The chair of the committee, Victorian Liberal back-bencher, Tim Wilson pointed to the focus on advertising expenditures, stating it was “important that the sector is not using its leverage to achieve interests not aligned with financial returns to members, such as needless advertising for a compulsory product or to intimidate listed companies to be participants in public debate”.

The questioning foreshadowed by Wilson aligns with criticism of the chair of Industry Funds Services and IFM Investors, former Labor minister, Greg Combet, for his appearance in industry funds advertising.

It also comes amid questions on notice posed by Wilson around whether industry fund executives were involved in the alleged pressuring of business executives critical of the Victorian Government recent and prolonged COVID-19 lockdown.

Wilson said he was “looking forward to exploring this topic further, as particularly in times like these it is crucial that the superannuation sector is operating effectively, fairly and to the benefit of fund members”.

Also appearing before the committee on Friday will be BT Super, Suncorp and Mercer.

NSW Liberal Senator and former Financial Services Council policy executive, Andrew Bragg has already sought to pressure the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority on the issue of whether industry funds advertising is consistent with the sole purpose test.

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