Consumer banking campaigner Peter Mair writes:

A report in yesterday’s Australian that AMP has removed
non-commission-paying industry super funds
from its recommended list
after deciding it could not profit from them is just one more reason
it’d be foolish to expect a company like AMP to offer independent
financial advice.

Many Australians recognise that low-cost industry funds offer the best
prospect for the placement of their superannuation investments. It is
of real concern that AMP as a major player in the superannuation
industry does not recognise industry funds as being likely to offer
most of its retail customers their best deal. There would be an outcry
if major retailers of petrol, for example, were to disdain the fuel
widely regarded as best for independent car owners.

My personal experience, over some 45 years, has AMP on a list of
organisations not to be dealt with and, in general, one should
accordingly be proud to support products excluded from the AMP list. It will be interesting to see how this matter is
handled at the “oversight hearing” of ASIC scheduled for next Tuesday
13 June before the Corporations and Securities Committee (C&FS).

That is not to say that industry funds are without problems. One is the
way some self-proclaimed industry funds actually operate in ways quite
contrary to the low-cost ethos proclaimed by industry funds. ASIC and
the C&FS should encourage the main complying industry funds to
establish an industry association that implicitly identifies, and
excludes, those industry funds that do not subscribe to the
not-for-profit ethos of the brand leaders.

Similarly, some industry funds seemingly have scope to impose
relatively high fees on some captive customer segments without any
regulatory oversight. A particular instance of this behaviour has been
proposed for the agenda of the C&FS Committee for the 13 June
hearing. For the second time in recent years UniSuper has imposed a
substantial additional levy on its members taking an allocated pension,
an impost for which there is no apparent good reason and for which no
prior explanation was offered to the members affected.

Among other things, one would like to see ASIC and C&FS putting in
place formal appeal arrangements requiring fund operators to explain
any proposed increases in fees on existing members. As I have suggested
before, the idea in the mind of Mr Lucy that there is already
effective machinery in place to handle members complaints is a fallacy.
Proper complaints machinery needs to be established as a matter of