Heffron commentary

Royal Commission

Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry

Download Hayne report
The Royal Commission into the financial services industry is unprecedented.

Kenneth Hayne's final report on the Royal Commission into Misconduct into the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry was released to the public on Monday 4 February.

Even before this report was released, the explosive hearings last year forced us to confront the fact that some of our largest banks, a number of superannuation funds and many advisers did not always deserve our trust.

Trust in those organisations and people is vital. All Australians depend on them to support us in saving for retirement and at Heffron we believe that saving for retirement is one of the most important financial activities any of us undertake.

Trust is perhaps most important in superannuation given that it is compulsory. No-one forces us to borrow money, save via a managed fund or take out insurance. But our legislation does force working people to part with $9.50 of every $100 they earn with the promise that it is being put away for their retirement. The Royal Commission has just shown that some of the organisations we trust to carefully look after that money for us doing more for their own executives' retirement than our own.

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What are the SMSF implications?

The first thing I did when I opened the final report from the Hayne Royal Commission into Banking Misconduct and Superannuation was to search for "SMSF" ...

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Does independence matter?

Hayne recommended advisers unable to describe themselves as "independent" explain "simply and concisely why the adviser is not independent, impartial and unbiased" ...

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Is this a missed opportunity?

While the hearings sent shockwaves through Australia’s major financial institutions, I would describe the final report as being light on major structural reforms ...

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Large fund challenges?

There was presumably a collective sigh of relief from our largest financial institutions when Hayne decided not to recommend a ban on profit-driven superannuation funds ...

Why Heffron cares

Heffron's mission has always been to raise standards in our part of the retirement savings world – SMSFs. We do that by working with accountants, advisers and trustees to help them get the most of out of the great opportunities presented by SMSFs. Sometimes we're helping people stay safe by supporting them with compliance work and other times we're adding to their knowledge about strategies and opportunities.

Heffron has been here for over 20 years and is completely independent – the company is not owned by, licenced by or beholden to anyone except our clients, staff and shareholders.

We're proud of our record as trusted advisers to both SMSF trustees and their professional advisers. We will keep working with them to ensure that those who are taking the brave step of assuming control of their own retirement saving via an SMSF have support they can rely on.