Australian regulator imposes additional conditions on NAB's pension funds

Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

Australia's financial regulator said on Thursday that it imposed additional conditions to the licences of pension funds run by National Australia Bank's wealth management unit for improving governance and financial controls.

Aug 27 (Reuters) - Australia's financial regulator said on Thursday that it imposed additional conditions to the licences of pension funds run by National Australia Bank's NAB.AX wealth management unit for improving governance and financial controls.

The move follows a referral by a government-backed inquiry that exposed widespread misconduct in the financial sector last year, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) said, referring to its actions on NULIS Nominees, a trustee of pension fund products sold by the bank's MLC unit.

"Its (APRA's) investigation raised concerns about the adequacy of NULIS's internal processes for demonstrating how members' best interests were considered and prioritised," APRA said in a statement.

The regulator said NULIS would have to appoint an independent expert to report on compliance with the conditions.

NULIS is cooperating with APRA and has commenced implementation of a number of actions required under licence conditions, NAB said in a statement.

Australia's third largest bank has been trying to divest MLC since 2018, but the plan has been delayed by a management overhaul and the Royal Commission inquiry into the financial sector.

In 2018, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), a corporate watchdog, filed a lawsuit against the pension funds, accusing them of charging fees with no service to hundreds of thousands of retirees. (https://reut.rs/31wRK1p)

(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi and Shriya Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

((Anushka.Trivedi@thomsonreuters.com; +918061823241;))

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