ASIC launches fees for no service cases against StatePlus Super, Westpac subsidiaries
20 August 2020, Written by Matt Ogg
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has today commenced its third and fourth legal actions over 'fees for no service' (FFNS) behaviour, this time with StatePlus Super, Asgard Capital Management and BT Funds Management in the firing line.
Like ongoing cases launched over the past couple of years against National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) and two of its wealth management companies, the latest civil penalty proceedings stem from the findings of the Royal Commission.
The corporate watchdog alleges State Super Financial Services Australia (StatePlus Super) charged fees to at least 36,592 members for advice it did not provide, with potential penalties of between $1.7-2.1 million per contravention if the fund is judged guilty.
ASIC alleges that from 1 April 2013 to 30 June 2018, StatePlus:
Shortly after filing these proceedings in the Federal Court, ASIC commenced another case against Westpac subsidiaries Asgard and BT.
The regulator alleges Asgard charged adviser fees to 404 customers for financial advice that was not given, and both companies of making misleading representations in half-yearly or annual account statements regarding the charging of the adviser fees.
ASIC alleges that from September 2014 to August 2017:
ASIC Deputy Chair Daniel Crennan QC was reserved in his statement about the new cases.
"Today, ASIC has commenced a 'fees for no service' case against BT and Asgard as well as commencing a 'fees for no service' case against StatePlus Super," Crennan said.
"Both cases, which relate to superannuation, were subject to cases studies in the Royal Commission, were investigated by ASIC's Office of Enforcement and have been brought by ASIC to the Federal Court for determination."
ASIC is also overseeing FFNS remediation programs involving other financial services licensees including Bendigo Financial Planning Ltd, Police Financial Services Ltd (trading as BankVic) and Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management Pty Ltd.
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Business News Australia
Author: Matt Ogg