The Australian Custodial Services Association, whose members recently passed the $A2 trillion mark for combined assets under custody, will resist the proposal by one of the regulators to change the name “custodian” to something more recognizable for retail investors.
Pierre Jond, the ACSA chair, told the association’s annual conference in Sydney last week that the association believed a name change would cause confusion and put Australia at odds with peers globally.
The proposal was put in a consultation paper from the retail-orientated regulator ASIC (number 197) in late December. ACSA’s response to this was an immediate priority.
Other issues highlighted in the ASIC paper, John said, included the trend towards increasing disclosure requirements for super funds, such as showing members itemized investments, which would potentially increase costs, and asking custodians to act as “gatekeeper”.
Jond, who heads up BNP Paribas Securities Services in Australia and New Zealand, said: “ACSA believes this raises a number of questions such as the necessity of multiple watchdogs and may confuse the obligations of the custodian to the responsible entity and complicate the relationship between these two parties.”
He said that contributing to making the Australian financial markets secure and efficient was the first and foremost mission of the custodians and their association.
The conference was produced by Conexus Financial and included presentation of the annual ACSA Awards. Winners were: Emad Hanna, technical training manager at BNP Paribas; John Leahy, head of risk, asset servicing, at NAB; and Nicholas Parker, formerly executive director of financial services risk management at Ernst & Young.
The latest market share figures published during the conference showed NAB remained at number one, with $A554 billion in total assets under custody, followed by JP Morgan, with $376 billion, and BNP Paribas, with $296 billion. The custodians which enjoyed the biggest increases in business were Citi (sitting at $177 billion) and State Street ($171 billion).