Fund Products and Company Updates as at 16 March 2016

New Company Offerings

Infocus Launches Direct SMA Advice Offering
Infocus Wealth Management is to launch its new separately managed account (SMA) consumer advice and savings and assets simulator offering in 2016. Consumers will be able to see projected wealth accumulation based on certain inputs, with savings rates, retirement ages and asset allocation recommendations for life stages. 

Regulatory Updates

Government Releases Discussion Paper on Superannuation Objectives
A discussion paper has been released to outline the formal objective of the Australian superannuation system and the proposal to enshrine such an objective in legislation, based on the Financial System Inquiry: To provide income in retirement to substitute or supplement the Age Pension. 


Superannuation Fund of the Year Award

  • Fund of the year – overall: UniSuper
  • Fund of the year – large: QSuper
  • Fund of the year – medium: Local Government Super
  • Fund of the year – small: Kinetic Super
  • Default fund of the year: UniSuper
  • Pension fund of the year: QSuper
  • Fund of the year – member services: Plum Superannuation Fund
  • Chief investment officer of the year: Richard Brandweiner, First State Super

Morningstar Fund Manager Award Winners

  • Australian Fund Manager of the Year - Hyperon Asset Management
  • Multi-Sector Category, Australia - Vanguard Investments Australian
  • Fixed Interest Category, Australia - PIMCO
  • Domestic Equities Category, Australia - Hyperion Asset Management
  • Domestic Equities - Small Caps Category, Australia - Hyperion Asset Management
  • International Equities Category, Australia - Independent Franchise Partners
  • Listed Property Category, Australia - Cromwell Phoenix Property Securities
  • Undiscovered Manager Category, Australia - Carnegie WorldWide Equity Trust

Company News

ANZ Penalised for Lending Law Breaches, Civil Penalty Proceedings Commenced, OnePath Under Review
ANZ has paid over $200,000 in penalties for breaching responsible lending laws when making overdraft offers to its customers. The breach was in the offers presented to customers regarding $500 or $1,000 overdraft offers, for which the amounts were not allowed to be changed, meaning that if that amount didn't suit a customer, they couldn't amend (lower) it in a take-it-or-leave-it scenario. This was in breach of responsible lending laws. 

ASIC has commenced legal proceedings against ANZ for unconscionable conduct and market manipulation regarding ANZ's involvement in setting the bank bill swap reference rate (BBSW) in the period of March 2010 to May 2012. The BBSW is the main rate benchmark in Australia. It is alleged that ANZ traded in a manner intended to create an artificial price for bank bills on 44 separate days. Other banks that have been involved in alleged BBSW misconduct are UBS-AG, BNP Paribas, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. 

ANZ's OnePath is also under independent review regarding its life, general insurance, superannuation and funds management activities. 

Macquarie AFSL Tightened
Macquarie Bank has had its Australian financial services licence tightened after an investigation found breach reports regarding client money provisions of the Corporations Act, including failures to deposit money into a designated trust account and making unauthorised withdrawals from this account.