APRA tighten reins on super fund acquisitions

The prudential regulator is imposing tougher measures for interested buyers' ability to acquire stakes in superannuation funds.

From 5 July, any party seeking to acquire a stake greater than 15% in an RSE must ask APRA for approval.

APRA said the proposed change brings superannuation in line with the banking and insurance sectors.

Before granting approval, APRA said it must be satisfied the revised ownership structure will not impede the ability of the RSE to meet its fiduciary obligations under the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993.

The interested buyer must complete a change of control application form, answering questions that include its motivation for acquiring the stake.

Applicants must also complete a fit and proper assessment to indicate if a director or any responsible person is under investigation or engaged in civil or criminal proceedings. Directors must also disclose if they have any directorships and/or shareholdings in any other entity.

Deputy chair Helen Rowell said APRA has held longstanding concerns about the ability of parties to gain control of RSEs via the "back door" without meeting a stringent approval process.

"These concerns were heightened after this loophole contributed to the fraud that precipitated the collapse of Trio Capital in 2009. The closure of this legislative gap will ensure anyone seeking to acquire a substantial stake in an APRA-regulated superannuation licensee is subject to rigorous regulatory scrutiny," she said.

The approval process forms part of the newly passed Treasury Laws Amendment (Improving Accountability and Member Outcomes in Superannuation Measures No. 1) Act 2019.

Read more: APRAHelen RowellSuperannuation Industry ActTrio Capital
Link to something dQdiulmP