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Funds, Westpac back push for ‘open super’

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The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees said in a submission that it supported the “open super” idea, which it said would allow funds to tailor their services, get their members engaged and improve retirement outcomes. However, the not-for-profit body said that before pushing ahead with the plan, the government and regulators should develop a comparison tool to help people make informed decisions on their retirement savings.

The Financial Services Council, which represents for-profit funds, said it was “generally supportive” of the initiative, which it said would help consumers receiving financial advice the most.

“The FSC recommends the “open super” framework centres on enabling individuals to access their own, tailored data and be a core focus in extending the consumer data right,” it said in a submission to a Senate inquiry into Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology, chaired by NSW Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg.

Westpac signalled it expected open super at some point,  though it said the data-sharing regime should first be rolled out in other industries where consumers could receive “immediate benefits”.

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“Westpac would support the extension of the CDR to the superannuation sector. It would improve consumers’ ability to compare and switch between funds and encourage competition,” the bank said in its submission to the inquiry.

“This would lead to both better prices for customers and the development of more innovative products and services as all funds are put under increased pressure to retain members against competition from both incumbent providers and new fintech companies.”

The comments come as more than 100 submissions have been lodged with the Senate inquiry.

Analysts have predicted open banking, which has been delayed until the middle of this year, may also add to pressure on profit margins by making the mortgage market more transparent.

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