Updated: BT Group has paid $20,400 in penalties after ASIC found the firm made misleading claims about its super performance in its Google advertisements.*
ASIC issued two infringement notices to BT for its online advertising, both of which imposed a penalty of $10,200.
The first infringement notice was issued for the statement "BT Super has outperformed industry super funds over the last 5 years*" published on search results pages generated via www.google.com.au from 26 June 2014 to 18 September 2014.
"ASIC was concerned that BT misled consumers by representing that superannuation products issued by BT had generated greater returns than those generated by all industry super funds during the stated period," ASIC said.
"In reality, BT’s superannuation products had not generated greater returns during the stated period."
The second infringement notice was imposed because ASIC was concerned BT had misled consumers into believing it had a relationship with Industry Super Australia.
ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell said the advertising of financial products and services must be "clear, accurate and balanced" and presented in a way that avoids potentially misleading or deceiving customers.
"ASIC has provided guidance to help promoters comply with their legal obligations when advertising financial products and services.
"We continue to actively monitor advertising in this area and will take appropriate action where we consider consumers may be misinformed," Mr Kell said.
*The original version of this article incorrectly referenced BT Investment Management. The ASIC action has been taken against BT Group.
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