Advisers must be represented in industry review, ASIC told

Advisers must be represented in industry review, ASIC told



ASIC should look past industry groups and consult with practice owners in its wider review of the life insurance sector, federal Liberal MP Bert van Manen has argued.

Addressing ASIC during a joint parliamentary committee hearing on corporations and financial services on Wednesday, Mr van Manen – a former financial adviser – asked the regulator to consult with advisers in the life insurance sector.

Responding to Mr van Manen, ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell confirmed advisers groups would be consulted with during the industry-wide review.

However, Mr van Manen believes that the regulator should look beyond industry groups.

“With the greatest respect to the groups, they've substantially let down their membership over the last 12 to 18 months,” he said.

“I’ve not [held back] in coming forward in saying that – but look past the groups and actually get some people from practices that do this stuff day to day.”

Mr Kell said the regulator would consult with a wide group of “industry experts” which, from ASIC's perspective, would include “some practitioners”.

During the hearing, Mr van Manen also questioned whether there is any requirement for super funds to disclose the level of commission they receive from insurance companies.

In response, ASIC commissioner Greg Tanzer said the he believes the answer is “no”.

“If that is correct, then why is that not the case when everybody else has to disclose what their remuneration is?” Mr van Manen asked.

Mr Tanzer said the regulator would have to take that question on notice; however, he did stipulate that ASIC does conduct a “range of surveillance programs” in respect to disclosure made within superannuation.

“Some of that does go to insurance. It certainly has a substantial focus on fees and costs and insurance is a part of that,” he said.

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