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The Federal Court of Australia has ordered OnePath Custodians Pty Ltd (OnePath Custodians) to publish this notice.
On 29 November 2023 Justice Stewart of the Federal Court ordered OPC to pay a penalty of $5 million for contravening Australia’s financial services laws.
The Court found that between December 2015 and November 2021 OPC made false or misleading representations in communications to members of the superannuation product ‘Integra Super’ about Adviser Service Fees. OPC told members that they had to pay the Adviser Service Fee for superannuation advice from a ‘Plan Adviser’ even after the member had been transferred from the “Employer” division to the “Personal” division of Integra Super where they were not entitled to receive advice services.
OPC also misled members by representing that:
- the member had agreed to the Adviser Service Fee, whereas that fee was agreed between the Plan Adviser and the member's former employer; and
- the negotiation of the Adviser Service Fee was a matter for the member’s former employer and the Plan Adviser, whereas the member had their own right to cancel the fee.
During this period OPC issued "de-linking letters" to approximately 766 members and annual statements to approximately 15,962 members containing the false or misleading representations, and charged $3.8m in Adviser Service Fees to relevant members.
This conduct contravened the following financial services laws:
- sections 12DA, 12DB(1)(g) and 12DB(1)(i) of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth); and
- section 912A(1)(a) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
All affected members have been remediated as part of a remediation program that has put them back in the position they would have been if they had not been charged the Adviser Service Fees.
OPC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Insignia Financial Ltd. Prior to February 2020, OPC was wholly owned by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited.
For further information about the conduct, see: