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ASIC faces grilling on SMSF data

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Liberal MP Tim Wilson has hinted ASIC will be pressed on its enforcement and supervisory approach after recent Tax Office data contradicted the corporate regulator’s SMSF fact sheet.

Both ASIC and APRA are set to appear in a public hearing before the House economics committee on Wednesday, for the government’s review into the regulators’ annual reports. 

Mr Wilson, who is the committee’s chair, said the hearing will present an “opportunity to scrutinise APRA and ASIC on their performance and operation”. 

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The House committee is set to scrutinise APRA on its prudential regulation and supervision of ADIs and superannuation licensees, while ASIC will be interrogated on its enforcement strategy and supervisory approach.

“ASIC’s capability is of particular interest after recent data exposed errors in their SMSF fact sheet that should have been identified with basic critical reasoning,” Mr Wilson said. 

Figures released by the ATO in June showed it would cost four times less to run an SMSF than suggested in an ASIC estimate from last year. 

The corporate regulator’s fact sheet stated it would cost members $13,900 a year to operate a self-managed super fund, as well as 100-hours-a-year commitment. 

But the ATO calculated operating expenses would be closer to $3,923 a year. 

Mr Wilson raised concerns with the ATO last year around ASIC’s estimates, after asking the regulator’s chair James Shipton and commissioner Danielle Press about the fact sheet in a House committee hearing in October. 

The MP had called the 100 hours and cost benchmarks a “pretty bold claim”, commenting: “It doesn’t take anywhere that long to run my SMSF… it just looks to me like you guys are trying to scare people out of using SMSFs with that sort of information”. 

Ms Press had replied that the data was sourced from the ATO and the Productivity Commission, saying her team believed it to be accurate. 

Speaking on the upcoming hearing, Mr Wilson said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented disruption and uncertainty in the financial sector.”

“Now, more than ever, it is essential to maintain strong prudential regulation and ensure fair and transparent dealings to safeguard financial stability and consumer trust in the financial sectors.”

 

ASIC faces grilling on SMSF data
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Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins

Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth. 

Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio. 

You can contact her on [email protected].

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