Benjie Fraser wonders when Europe might follow in Australia’s footsteps.
In a recent trip to Australia, it became clear that there is a real push by the regulator to force the superannuation industry to be benchmarked and monitored the same way as the banking and insurance sectors.
This is due in no small measure to industry’s growing size as part of the overall economy.
At the same time, Australia is witnessing a second wave of consolidation, particularly with the prudential requirement to consider whether individual super funds have sufficient scale.
A result of this is that the larger superannuation funds are starting to act like ‘financial services’ firms.
It is an unfolding story, but, clearly, everyone will have to reshape their business models to accommodate this shift.
Globally, I just wondered where the sheer size of a consolidated superannuation industry leaves individual countries in terms of regulation and the re-shaping of financial services.
Are countries preparing for further sizing up?
Certainly, there has been talk of further consolidation in Sweden, and the Netherlands is looking at a market with more consolidated occupational arrangements for reasons of risk.
And given this progressive thinking, when do the other big economies in the euro-zone look at their first steps towards consolidating the superannuation industry along such lines?
Ideas on a postcard.
Benjie Fraser is global pensions executive at JP Morgan’s Worldwide Securities Services business