In a speech to the Financial Services Council Summit on 26 July 2018, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Chair James Shipton said the superannuation sector must restore the "trust deficit" and be more mindful of the responsibilities that come with being the custodians of other people's money. Mr Shipton said the super industry has been exploiting opportunities to make money from members, citing examples of conduct that could lead to poor member outcomes, including poor advice, treatment of customers and defensiveness when it comes to transparency about fund operations.
Among other things, Mr Shipton called for a wholesale review of conflicts of interest in firms, and greater attention from senior management to "conduct issues". Mr Shipton said there is an urgent need for super funds to invest in systems, procedures and policies that can quickly identify emerging conduct and systemic issues. A recent ASIC review of 12 banking groups found that it took an average of four years between an issue occurring and being identified internally for investigation, before a significant breach report was finally lodged with ASIC. Breach reporting to ASIC is a statutory requirement and a cornerstone of the regulatory architecture that requires greater commitment and attention by the senior leaders of financial firms, Mr Shipton said. Interestingly, he noted that ASIC has experienced a 30% increase in breach reports in the 2017–2018 financial year.