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Major bank shuns SMSF loans

One of Australia’s big four banks has backed the Financial System Inquiry’s recommendation to ban SMSF lending, after committing to not include SMSF loans in its mortgage strategy.

In its response to the FSI’s final report, ANZ stated it agrees with the recommendation to remove the exception to the general prohibition on direct borrowing for LRBAs made by superannuation funds.

“ANZ has not pursued this activity as part of its mortgages strategy. ANZ believes that leverage should be limited in superannuation portfolios and we agree with the RBA and APRA that it is incompatible with the objectives of superannuation,” the submission stated.

Reactions to the FSI’s recommendation to ban borrowing in super have been mixed since the final report was released in December last year.

Recently, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia expressed a similar position to ANZ's, believing that in a majority of cases, leverage is inconsistent with the objectives of superannuation.

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However, in its submission to the FSI’s final report, the SMSF Association urged the government to consider a range of alternatives to a ban on LRBAs, including limiting the use of personal guarantees and bringing LRBAs under the AFSL regime.

In its submission, ANZ also showed support for the FSI’s recommendation to seek broad bipartisan support for and enshrine in legislation the objectives of the superannuation system.

However, ANZ stressed that while this goal is “desirable”, it is likely to require a broader public discussion on superannuation and current issues.

“The extent to which Australians will have sufficient income to meet their retirement expectations is an important issue. Issues such as this need to be canvassed throughout the community,” ANZ stated.

 

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