01.State of the super nation
Superannuation assets are now worth $1.803 trillion but financial advisers aren't trusted by Australians, with three-quarters of us rating financial planners unfavourably for their ethics and honesty, according to a report by market research company Roy Morgan.
At the launch of the State of the Nation report, Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine said despite the money tied up in superannuation, Australians are still under-funded for retirement. She said a major issue to be examined in the upcoming Financial System Inquiry will be the competence of the people managing superannuation funds.
Big four banks lag on share of superannuation
Looking at the period since the last Financial System Inquiry in 1997, the Roy Morgan report shows the big four banks (NAB, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac) have all grown their market share of a variety of financial products, primarily though swallowing smaller banks, with their share of accounts, credit cards, loans and home loans all 70% or higher. But not so for superannuation - the big four banks have a combined share of just 18%.
Self-managed super funds gain market share of superannuation
Self-managed super funds (SMSF) on the other hand, comprise almost a third of superannuation assets. And interestingly, Australians have more trust in accountants, who are largely responsible for arranging SMSFs, than other financial services professionals, such as bank managers, stock brokers and insurance brokers.
Financial planners under the microscope
The report comes on the back of the heat financial planners have been facing of late, coming under scrutiny after pushing to amend the Future of Financial Advice legislation to allow planners to continue recommending financial products for which they receive hidden ongoing commissions. The move follows an ASIC investigation into retail structured products late last year found advisers had not sufficiently established a reasonable basis for advice in 50% of cases.