In the paper, ASIC acknowledged the significant size of the SMSF sector, with growth expected to continue while the remainder of the industry consolidates.
The size of the sector magnifies the risks posed by poor advice, mis-selling and investor losses, ASIC said.
“Larger amounts of retirement savings are at risk and investors and financial consumers have more products to choose from,” ASIC stated.
“So for example, there was a large withdrawal from the account which is a personal payment to a trustee, and that didn’t get picked up in the audit, we’d be concerned about that,” he said.
“Investors and financial consumers need access to good-quality tailored advice that is not conflicted. Where financial advisers and licensees fail to deliver this, there is potential for significant investor losses.”
ASIC has committed to targeting advice being given on SMSFs, with a particular emphasis on unlicensed advisers and misleading advertising.
The provision of SMSF advice has been firmly on ASIC’s agenda since the establishment of an SMSF taskforce in September 2012