APRA, ASIC welcome Productivity Commission's superannuation report

The regulators overseeing financial services in Australia have welcomed the Productivity Commission's recommendations to grant them additional powers.

After they were blasted in the Productivity Commission's final report into the efficiency and competitiveness of superannuation yesterday, APRA and ASIC both moved to welcome the report's findings, and noted recommendations to strengthen their capabilities were pleasing.

In a media release on Thursday APRA said it welcomed the Productivity Commission's calls to grant the regulator additional powers to force superannuation funds to merge or wind up when it saw fit.

The prudential regulator's deputy chair Helen Rowell said the superannuation industry posed challenges for all stakeholders - regulators included - but pointed to recent actions, such as a project to transform its data storage efforts, as examples of its capability.

In its report yesterday the Commission recommended APRA undergo a capability review, which Rowell said APRA was willing to do, should it be led by the right people.

"APRA has previously indicated its willingness to take part in a capability review led by appropriately experienced and qualified experts," she said.

The Commission took aim at Australia's joint superannuation watchdogs in its final report for being "missing in action" when it came to strategic conduct regulation, and noted their roles should be more clearly defined.

According to APRA, efforts to better coordinate regulation with its partners are already underway, with the prudential regulator specifying its coordination with ASIC had "significantly stepped up."

In a short statement, an ASIC spokesperson said the corporate regulator welcomed the Productivity Commission report, and said it would consider its findings and recommendations.

Read more: Productivity CommissionASICAustraliaThursday APRAHelen Rowell
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