Australian regulator imposes new conditions on pension units of Suncorp, CBA

FILE PHOTO: A Suncorp Group Ltd sign adorns their office building in Sydney, Australia, August 4, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray

Australia’s prudential regulator said on Thursday said it has imposed new licensing conditions on the pension units of Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Suncorp Group following directions by a government-ordered enquiry.

The new conditions would require them to record how they consider the best interests of their customers while making decisions, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) said.

The authority noted that neither Suncorp Portfolio Services (SPSL) nor Colonial First State Investments (CFSIL) had breached pension laws.

The conditions follow separate investigations into the Suncorp and CBA units for delaying the transition of their customers to a cheaper MySuper product until just before a legal deadline, APRA said in a statement.

The government in 2014 ordered operators of pension funds, known as superannuation funds in Australia, to move customers with default investment options to the cheaper and simpler MySuper scheme.

The MySuper fund was designed as a part of a government-mandated scheme to provide workers with an economical pension fund that could be run by investment managers as trustees.

Australia’s corporate regulator had filed two lawsuits against CFSIL this year, accusing it of improperly collecting commission and deceptive product communication.

A Royal Commission enquiry uncovered widespread misconduct in Australia’s financial services industry, including charging customers for service not rendered.

“We will fully cooperate with APRA regarding the two additional conditions and will use this as a further opportunity to document our processes,” a Suncorp Portfolio Services spokeswoman said in an email to Reuters.

Commonwealth Bank also acknowledged the APRA action in a separate statement.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.