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SMSF body prepared to participate in royal commission

The SMSF Association will make submissions to the banking royal commission if requested despite the sector’s exclusion from the inquiry’s terms of reference.

“We will be contributing and will be providing submissions to the banking review if we’re asked to,” SMSF Association head of technical Peter Hogan confirmed at the body’s latest Sydney Local Community briefing.

Hogan pointed out the professional body is preparing for this review as well as putting together a number of other submissions that are in their first stages. With regard to these activities he encouraged participation from SMSF Association members.

“If anyone feels there are certain areas that they would like to contribute to or feel that we should be raising as an association, even though I said we are not directly being reviewed as an industry by this commission, but it is still a broad financial services review and superannuation review, and clearly there are issue that will impact SMSFs if only indirectly,” he said.

“So we’d be very happy to hear any suggestions or comments people would like to make about any areas they believe we should be addressing as part of that review.”

While currently encouraging interaction in regard to the submissions being drafted for the royal commission, Hogan acknowledged there will also be opportunities for association members to communicate their reactions to the inquiry’s findings as they are released as it progresses.

On a negative note, he warned the SMSF sector will not be immune from the royal commission hearings even though it is not directly part of the process.

“We believe that there will probably be a certain amount of mud that is going to be thrown our way, even though we are not formally part of the process,” he said.

He reiterated the association’s view the sector’s exclusion from the commission was a positive endorsement from the government, but recognised the move did not mean SMSFs have no problems to address.

“We still have product problems and we don’t have a fallback position like the APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority)-[regulated] funds do in cases of significant fraud across the board,” he said.

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