No ban to SMSF borrowing, assures assistant treasurer

by Julia Corderoy24 Aug 2015
There will be no ban on self-managed super fund (SMSF) borrowing to purchase property, according to the assistant treasurer, but tougher regulation could be likely.

Speaking at the Tax Institute annual superannuation conference in Sydney on Friday, assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg gave the biggest indication yet that the Abbott government has no plans to ban limited recourse borrowing arrangements (LRBAs) through SMSFs to purchase real estate, Fairfax has reported.

David Murray’s Financial System Inquiry, released in December 2014, called for LRBAs to be prohibited, warning that such arrangements increased speculative investment which could pose a risk to the financial system over time.

“I want to emphasise that we have been considering this recommendation very carefully but flag that we want to make sure the approach we take is proportionate to the risks that have been identified,” Frydenberg said.

“To put it in context only 0.07%, perhaps 6,500 properties, were held in an SMSF through a limited recourse borrowing arrangement in 2013.

“David Murray highlighted the risks associated with increased leverage in the financial system. Increased leverage always represents a risk and we recognise that. The government also recognises that most SMSFs do the right thing.”

When asked whether there were any plans to tighten the rules around SMSF borrowing – instead of implementing a complete ban – Fairfax reports that the assistant treasurer said it was “under consideration”.
 

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