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The peak body for Australia’s $1.4 trillion profit-to-member superannuation sector, The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (AIST), has welcomed the release today of a firm timeframe on how the Federal Government will implement the Hayne Royal Commission recommendations.
AIST CEO Eva Scheerlinck said the Government’s response to recommendations that were now more than six months old had been far too slow, with only a handful of recommendations having been subject to the legislative process.
Ms Scheerlinck said it was vital that banks and for-profit super funds were held to account for the appalling and systemic misconduct uncovered by the Commission.
“The Government’s response so far has been tepid at best. It is crucial for restoring consumer trust in Australia’s financial system that key recommendations to address harmful conflicts of interest in the financial services sector are prioritised and implemented in a way that will improve outcomes for all Australians,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
Ms Scheerlinck noted that the Government’s legislated response to the Commission recommendation to end grandfathered conflicted remuneration had been disappointing, having fallen short on consumer protection.
“While the new law puts a stop to financial advisers charging fees-for-no-service, it does not remove the incentive for advisers to recommend that clients stay in existing, often poorly performing and expensive products,” Ms Scheerlinck said.
The final report of the Royal Commission made 76 recommendations, of which 54 were directed to the Government with more than 40 recommendations requiring legislation.
Ms Scheerlinck called on the Government to prioritise recommendations to stop the worst practices among banks and other for-profit entities. This included Hayne’s recommendation to ban the hawking of super products, such as the upselling of super along with the sale of bank products.
In a separate but related development today, AIST also welcomed a report from the Australian Investments and Securities Commission (ASIC) that pointed to the regulator prioritising work on the 13 matters referred to it by the Royal Commission.
Ms Scheerlinck noted that Commissioner Hayne had not referred any profit-to-member super funds to investigation to the regulators for further action. Rather it was the retail super funds, along with the major banks and other for-profit entities – 14 in total – that were subject to further investigation and possible prosecution for the practices and behaviours that Commissioner Hayne found may have fallen short of the law.
AIST Media contacts: Janet de Silva 0448 000 499; Tyrell Mills 0431 303 998