APRA issues warning on super fund ownership and control

Superannuation funds have been reminded they need to report any shareholdings in the fund held by members of their trustee boards.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has written to superannuation funds reminding them of their obligation and noting that it had observed that some had been falling short.

“APRA has observed that, since the introduction of the controlling stake requirements, RSE licensees and the relevant persons acquiring the controlling stakes may not have always considered the application of these requirements to their particular circumstances,” it said in a letter to the funds.

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“For example, APRA is aware that some RSE licensee directors hold shares in an RSE licensee. Where this is the case, it may be that the appointment of a new director or removal of an existing director has triggered the controlling stake requirement,” it said.

“Ensuring compliance with the controlling stake requirements is important, as a failure to obtain APRA’s approval prior to owning a controlling stake in an RSE licensee is a strict liability offence under s. 29JCB of the SIS Act which may attract severe penalties.”

The APRA letter has detailed actions it requires of the superannuation fund licensees as a mater of priority, including identifying any changes to the ownership of shares, and obtaining professional advice where necessary.


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