BT Funds Management has paid a $20,400 fine to ASIC after it published two misleading claims for BT Super online.
In one publication that was live from June 26 to September 18 2014, it claimed BT Super had outperformed industry super funds over five years.
ASIC said it was concerned the public would perceive that BT had generated greater returns than those generated by all industry super funds during the stated period when this was not the case.
In the second infringement notice ASIC found BT had used the words “Industry Super Australia” in the headlines of BT advertisements from October- November 2014
Here, ASIC said it was concerned that BT had misled consumers into believing that BT had an affiliation with Industry Super Australia (ISA), when that was not the case.
BT Super has blamed the misinformation on errors made by third parties involved in the publication of these pages, which did not follow full internal approval procedures.
A spokesperson for the fund said that several of its lifestage funds, which are separate strategies for different cohorts of members based on the decade in which they were born, had outperformed similar strategies run by industry funds, but that the figures for only one of its funds was used in the adverts online.
David Whiteley, chief executive of Industry Super Australia, said of the fine: “This is a significant finding by the regulator of poor governance by the bank owned super sector. Banks now face regulatory surveillance over bundling business banking and workplace super, the habitual underperformance of their super funds, widespread financial advice scandals and now, misleading advertising.”