We just love regulation – however in typical Australian style, we can’t just have one regulator – we need to have multiple regulators. The SMSF space is now no different, with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) clamouring to get involved. It seems $500 billion in savings is too big to ignore!
Of course, the primary regulator for SMSFs is the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Every SMSF pays a levy ($321 in FY 13/14) for this pleasure. Then there is the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), which regulates the industry and retail funds, and is also responsible for the operation of the superannuation standards, which apply to all funds. And finally, there is ASIC.
ASIC’s “mandate” is that they regulate the “gatekeepers who provide advice and services” to some trustees (eg. licensed financial advisers), and they also regulate many (but not all) of the financial products that SMSFs invest in (managed funds, securities etc). They also get briefs from Government to look at specific issues, such as happened after the collapse of Trio Capital.