After almost a year of hearings and deliberations, the final report from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has now been released.
The report is a damning indictment on the banks and their super funds, financial advisers, insurance companies and mortgage brokers. The report contains 76 separate recommendations, 9 of which directly concern superannuation. 24 cases involving misconduct by the banks and other for-profit entities have been referred to the regulators for possible criminal or civil charges.
Commissioner Hayne observed that, in almost every case, misconduct was driven by businesses pursuing profit and individual greed. Providing service to customers came second.
A strong theme of the report is that regulators should do much more to enforce existing laws and take stronger action against profit-driven entities that put the interests of shareholders ahead of their members.
While both major political parties have agreed to take action on the vast majority the Commission’s recommendations it is important to remember that without legislation, these recommendations cannot be implemented. As such, any impact of the Royal Commission recommendations on super fund members is some way off.
As the super fund for the motor trades and allied industries, we’ve been providing super expertise and advice to our members for almost 30 years. Trust is at the heart of everything we do. We support any moves to remove rogue operators that undermine this trust and place profit before people. Moreover, most of the recommendations will have minimal impact on our members. We have never paid commissions to financial advisers or used hawking to sell superannuation products.
Profit to member super funds (including Industry Super Funds) have systematically outperformed for-profit super funds and feature overwhelmingly in the top-rating MySuper products. Of course, there is room to improve. A lack of awareness and engagement with super is still a problem for most Australians. Many workers still have multiple super accounts and insurance policies they may not need. These are issues we are addressing as we continue to improve our products and services, embrace technology, and champion best-practice governance and administration models. While super can be complicated, we always aim to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible.
If we see an issue, we’ll address it. If we make a mistake, we’ll own it and work to fix it. If we find a
better way to do things, we’ll embrace it. At MTAA Super you can trust that we are always trying to improve — so we can better serve you.
The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry was established by the Government in December 2017, with the first of seven public hearings held in March 2018, and the final round held in November 2018.
During that time the Commission received more than 10,000 submissions from members of the public, the majority of them relating to past experiences with banks.