ASIC regulator sues Commonwealth Bank over 'conflicted remuneration'

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ASIC regulator sues Commonwealth Bank over 'conflicted remuneration'

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has begun legal proceedings against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and its subsidiary, Colonial First State Investments Limited (CFSIL).

The case is being brought by ASIC on the grounds of conflicted remuneration, in particular regarding CFSIL's superannuation products. The allegations centre around payments made between 2013 and 2019, which ASIC alleges breached Australia's ban on conflicted remuneration.

The regulator is alleging A$22m ($15.2m) was transferred to the parent company (CBA) for a superannuation fund that had been issued by CFSIL and was known as Commonwealth Essential Super. The fund counted some 390,000 investors.

Daniel Crennan, deputy chair of ASIC, said in a statement yesterday: "This investigation is related to a Royal Commission referral to ASIC arising from the superannuation round of the hearings."

"This proceeding reflects the ongoing commitment by Asic's Office of Enforcement and its Royal Commission Litigation Programme to bring the Royal Commission's referrals and case studies to litigation when appropriate," he added.

CBA said it was reviewing the claim.

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Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.