The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court against Statewide Superannuation Pty Ltd (Statewide) for allegedly making false or misleading representations about Statewide Superannuation Trust (Fund) members’ insurance cover.
ASIC has accused Statewide of multiple cases of misleading or deceptive correspondence. The regulator alleges that from May 2017 to June 2020, Statewide sent annual statements and warning letters to around 12,500 Fund members stating that they held insurance cover at a time when those members did not actually have a Statewide insurance policy.
The regulator also claimed that the super fund deducted monthly insurance premiums (totalling approximately $1,500,000) from superannuation accounts of certain Fund members when those members did not have a Statewide insurance cover.
With these actions, ASIC concluded that Statewide failed to fulfil its obligations as an Australian financial services licence holder, particularly acting efficiently, fairly, and honestly and complying with the financial services laws. It also alleges that Statewide failed to report the breaches to the regulator within 10 business days.
ASIC is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties, injunctions relating to a remediation program, and publication orders. The court is yet to schedule the date for the first case management hearing.