Self-managed super attracting crime: ASIC
The increase in self-managed superannuation funds is attracting crime organisations to Australia, the corporate watchdog says.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chairman Greg Medcraft said superannuation was expected to grow to $3 trillion over the next decade and to $5 trillion the following decade.
"It will grow at twice the rate of the economy," he told a business lunch in Sydney today.
"This will increase ASIC's regulatory perimeter as more investors come into the system and invest more money."
He said there were also an increasing number of retirees opting for self-managed super funds, from the current 33 per cent to 40 per cent within the next five years.
This had led to an increase in cybercrime because crime organisations saw Australia as an easy target.
"Because of self-managed super we are seen as having a large pile of money in this country which is available to invest and that's very attractive to international crime organisations," he said.
Mr Medcraft said sophisticated scams were emerging often using fake websites and cold calling.
"What's really interesting about these is often the people that are caught up in these scams are quite sophisticated investors because these websites look so real," he said.
"Often it's males, over 55, professional, very experienced investors getting caught out. The cybercrime aspect of complexity is quite worrying."
The increase in complex investment products on the market also meant greater risks and greater potential losses for Australian investors.
"The increased risks in complex products are not just faced by retail investors," he said.
"The GFC (global financial crisis) provided clear examples where non-retail investors such as universities, councils, endowment funds, incurred severe losses from investing in structured credit instruments they did not understand."