Platform fee disclosures overlooked: ISA

Industry Super Australia welcomed ASIC's proposed fee transparency disclosure changes but pointed out that several areas fell short and failed to address ongoing issues.

In response to Consultation Paper 308, ISA said one of Darren McShane's key recommendations to force banks and wealth managers to disclose costs relating to underlying investment products was overlooked.

Disclosing a clear and effective measure of net returns is something ISA has consistently called for but came to no avail, it said.

The current system means consumers may be misled into believing such products are less expensive than those with direct investments, when in fact they are likely to be more costly, ISA said.

"Taking both fees and investment performance into account, this measure would allow consumers to more easily compare the appropriateness of different products, such as superannuation funds, platforms, and other managed investment schemes."

It was a glaring omission that the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees also called out.

AIST chief executive Eva Scheerlinck said McShane counselled ASIC to implement his recommendations as a package and avoid "cherry picking."

Superannuation members need and deserve transparent, comparable information about fees and costs for platform-based superannuation to make informed decisions about their retirement savings, Scheerlinck said.

ISA also questioned the timing of the consultation, which is open until 2 April 2019.

ISA director of research and campaigns Nick Coates said ASIC should wait for the Royal Commission's findings, which may include recommendations relating to disclosure, before commencing a through revision of the regime.

It is important that such a review includes consumer testing, to gauge what works best in assisting people to choose the best performing funds with the lowest fees, said Coates.

Read more: ISAASICIndustry Super AustraliaAustralian Institute of Superannuation TrusteesDarren McShaneEva ScheerlinckNick CoatesRoyal Commission
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