APRA puts super trustees on notice

By Reporter
 — 1 minute read

The prudential regulator has signaled it will be closely monitoring conflicts of interest on superannuation boards throughout 2016.

APRA is reviewing the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption as it relates to super funds, according to APRA chairman Wayne Byres.

Appearing before the Senate Economics Legislation Committee in Canberra this week, Mr Byres said his organisation will have a particular focus on related party arrangements.


"Although no matters were specifically referred to APRA, the observations and findings of the Royal Commission identified some similar themes to APRA’s 2014 thematic review of the management of conflicts of interest," Mr Byres said.

Former employees of industry fund Cbus were found to have leaked private information about the fund's members to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

Mr Byres continued: "As a result, we will be undertaking further review of related party arrangements – for all types of funds – to ensure trustees can demonstrate such arrangements are consistent with their obligations to pursue members’ best interests."

"The review will enable us to look more deeply into current practices, assess the extent to which the areas for improvement that we highlighted in our 2014 thematic review have been addressed, and identify where further improvements in practices are still needed," he added.

"Board appointment, renewal and performance assessment processes are also areas where industry practices could be improved. In a letter to trustees in December 2015, we advised the industry of proposed changes to APRA’s prudential standards and guidance to support enhancements in these areas."

Mr Byres said: "Our work in the year ahead is intended to highlight better practices, as well as areas where improvements are required in line with accepted principles for sound governance."

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