Major industry superannuation fund group, the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST) has pointed to the stability of industry funds when compared to the plight currently confronting the major banks.
AIST chief executive, Eva Scheerlinck used her opening address to the Conference of Major Superannuation Funds (CMSF) in Brisbane to point to the need for industry funds to point to the challenges confronting the banks and to argue that the not for profit approach of the industry funds represents a way forward.
“The banks have faced some challenges in recent years and they have not responded as well as they could have to the serious crisis of trust they have faced,” she said. “Working people, getting advice on how to save for their retirement are not to blame for banks losing the trust and confidence of the people.”
“The sentiment towards banks, the evidence of failures to look after the customer – these are lessons of which our industry needs to take heed. Complacency and a lack of accountability are things we need to be careful to avoid,” Scheerlinck said. “We need to respond to our industry challenges and get on the front foot.”
“In our sector, I believe we have a distinct advantage over the banks and other profit-driven, shareholder-beholden organisations focused on the bottom line,” the AIST chief executive said.
Scheerlinck said the underlying profit-to-member ethos of the industry funds and their focus on putting members first had set the sector apart over the past 26 years.
“It’s what we must preserve at all costs to remain transparent, truly accountable, and hopefully, trusted,” she said.