Major bank facing court over super fees
ASIC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against two entities of a major bank relating to fees for no service charged to its superannuation members.
In a public update, ASIC announced that is has initiated proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against two entities in NAB’s wealth management division, Nulis Nominees (Australia) Limited and MLC Nominees Pty Ltd.
ASIC said the court proceedings relate to fees charged by both entities to a significant number of their superannuation members for services that weren’t provided.
The details surrounding these fees for no service came under close scrutiny during recent Royal Commission hearings.
ASIC alleges Nulis and MLC Nominees deducted approximately $33 million in plan service fees from 220,000 members of MLC MasterKey Business and MLC MasterKey Personal Super who did not have an adviser.
It also alleges that NAB deducted approximately $67 million in plan service fees from 300,000 members of MLC MasterKey Personal Super where Plan Advisers were not required to provide services and members did not receive services.
The Corporate Regulator also alleges the Nulis and MLC Nominees made false or misleading representations to non-advised members in contravention of s 12DB, 12DA of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (ASIC Act) and s1041H of the Corporations Act by representing that it was entitled to deduct the Plan Service Fee and the non-advised member was obliged to pay it when there was no such obligation.
It also alleges that both entities made false or misleading representations in contravention of s12DB and s12DA of the ASIC Act by not disclosing that Linked Members in MLC Masterkey Personal Super had the right to turn off the Plan Service Fee, according to ASIC.
ASIC also alleges that both entities contravened s912A(1)(c) of the Corporations Act by failing to comply with financial services laws.
“[This includes] issuing defective disclosure documents within the meaning of s1022A of the Corporations Act and failing to exercise the degree of skill, care and diligence as a prudent trustee would exercise and failing to act in the best interests of members in breach of its general law duties and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 when making the fee deductions and alleged misrepresentations to members,” stated ASIC.