IOOF’s OnePath transaction gets parliamentary scrutiny

A key parliamentary committee has thrown more focus on the future of IOOF’s acquisition of the ANZ’s OnePath pensions and investments business and the now critical role of the trustee board.

The House of Representatives Economic Committee report stemming on its fourth Review of the Four Major Banks specifically traversed the status of the IOOF/ANZ transaction and noted that it was proving to be complex.

The committee report said ANZ’s deputy chief executive, Alexis George had been asked about the status of the sale and had said that it was incomplete.

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The report also noted that George had said she was “conscious of the legal requirement for ANZ to act in the best interests of the members of its superannuation fund throughout the transition process”.

“The committee pointed to failures of governance and compliance by IOOF highlighted during the Royal Commission’s superannuation hearings and questioned how the sale of OnePath P&I could be in the best interests of its members,” the report said.

“Ms George responded by stating: we've had multiple contacts, formally and informally, with the management and with the board of IOOF to inquire about the issues that arose and what they were doing to address those, what they had done to address those in the past.”

“In addition, Ms George noted there is an independent trustee board to provide a check and balance against ANZ’s decisions,” the report said.

The committee’s report follows on from the final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry which specifically referenced the key role of the OnePath trustee board and complemented it on the independence it had demonstrated to that point.

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