The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has said it would investigate superannuation funds who refuse to allow members to use their funds to pay for third-party financial advisers, but no one has actually bothered to complain.
Facing questions within the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, the ACCC said it stood ready to investigate the issue if the matter of how superannuation funds treated external advisers was ever raised.
The competition regulator was responding to a question on notice from NSW Liberal backbencher, Jason Falinski, who noted that the committee had previously provided evidence to the ACCC of superannuation funds limiting a customer’s ability to use their superannuation funds to pay for financial advice from a third-party adviser and asking what, so far, had been done about it.
The ACCC said that, while it had a number of investigations on foot with respect to anti-competitive conduct in financial services, none related to financial advice within superannuation and using member funds to pay external advisers.
“The ACCC has not received any consumer complaints in relation to the superannuation fund issue previously presented,” it said.
“The ACCC has a number of active investigations into anti-competitive conduct in the financial services sector. The ACCC’s investigations are confidential,” the regulator said.
“The ACCC continues to consider competition issues across the financial services sector, including in the superannuation industry, through its engagement with other financial regulators and as part of its advocacy role.”