Banking royal commission: Industry super funds sail through inquiry as spotlight roasts NAB, retail funds – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Commissioner Kenneth Hayne points a finger at NAB counsel Neil Young QC during a hearing on August 8, 2017.

The royal commission asked for CBUS documents, examined them, and decided to leave it there.

For people wanting a searing examination of industry funds, which have long had better financial returns to customers than the for-profit funds, the disappointment got worse.

Australian Super, Australia’s biggest fund, sailed through its examination.

The level of discussion, debate and analysis the $140 billion fund put into preparing for a $2 million investment in a news website, The New Daily, was both exhaustive and debated at board level.

After all that, it was revealed that the investment was less than the cost of mailing a letter to every member, once.

Further, the fund’s chief executive Ian Silk was examined about the political nature of a series of TV advertisements called “Fox in the henhouse” about how retail funds are a bad deal for consumers.

The question was how it was in members’ best interests to spend the money.

Mr Silk defended the campaign as a way to safeguard the broader system of industry funds.

Best interests? Commissioner Kenneth Hayne will make up his own mind.

But forget 30 seconds of pictures of foxes, emotive music and a scary voiceover about retail funds. We just sat through four days of evidence about them that was truly terrifying.

Banking royal commission: Industry super funds sail through inquiry as spotlight roasts NAB, retail funds – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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