The prudential regulator is investigating online publication The New Daily‘s commercial relationships with superannuation funds as part of a review of how members’ money is being spent by the industry.
Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg has been a vocal critic of industry super and last week passed a Senate motion to demand the ABC provide more details of its content-sharing agreement with The New Daily, which is worth less than $50,000. But details of how The New Daily is funded and its advertising arrangements with superannuation funds will also be scrutinised by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority as part of an investigation into how trustee money is spent by the sector.
A letter sent to Senator Bragg from APRA deputy chair Helen Rowell, seen by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, said the investigation would have preliminary outcomes by March 2021.
“This review will consider the frame-work and decision-making process of boards pertaining to certain areas of expenditure, including a review of the metrics and approach to assessment of benefits to members,” Ms Rowell wrote. “Examining these issues is made more complicated where…expenditure is occurring indirectly through entities that are not regulated by APRA.”
The New Daily chair Cath Bowtell, a former ACTU official and former Labor candidate for the seat of Melbourne, has said the website is not funded by members.
“The New Daily is a highly successful service to industry super funds, to engage members and improve their financial literacy,” Ms Bowtell said. “It operates under an editorial charter of independence. The recent royal commission into the finance industry looked at The New Daily, as have regulators. No issues were found, unlike with the scandal prone and chronically underperforming bank-owned super fund that Senator Bragg used to advocate for.”
What about my taxes being spent on this waste of time while APRA did nothing to reform itself post-Hanye RC, a disgraced Wayne Byers remained in charge in thrall to the government, and now all regulators seem entirely happy to see the banks gut responsible lending laws?
The New Daily was founded to help offset the bank-sponsored MSM and its dodgy reporting on finance. That hasn’t changed even though the banks are largely out of super. Whether that’s a good investment of member dough is not up to APRA, it’s up to members.
This is APRA doing Coalition and big bank dirty work.