RC focuses on vertical integration and super

Vertically-integrated structures and their impact on bank-owned superannuation structures have been heavily scrutinised in today’s hearings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Under questioning from counsel assisting the Royal Commission, Michael Hodge QC, the former chair of the trustee for NAB/MLC superannuation funds, NULIS, Nicole Smith acknowledged that the fund’s administrator had taken decisions without always appropriately informing the trustee.

Hodge’s questioning related to the administrator’s decision to retain the so-called “Plan Service Fee” (PSF) with respect to members of superannuation funds who the administrator knew did not have a financial adviser.

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Smith acknowledged the administrator, also a part of NAB/MLC, had not provided appropriate information to the trustee board and the status of the PSF should have been made clearer.

Asked what the trustee would have done about the administrator’s actions with respect to the PSF, Smith replied that the trustee board would have said “no” because it was obvious that there was no adviser linked to the account.

The Royal Commission had earlier been told that the inappropriately deducted PSF had been the subject of remediation by the NAB/MLC Superannuation Funds.

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