ASIC industry funding model passes Senate

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The new industry funding model for ASIC has been passed into law and will commence on 1 July 2017.

The ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy Bill 2017 was passed in the Senate yesterday without amendments.

According to a statement from Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer, the bill intends to improve outcomes in the financial services sector.

Ms O’Dwyer said entities regulated by ASIC will bear the regulator’s costs, rather than Australian taxpayers.

Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees senior policy adviser Karen Volpato said the model would create more transparency when it comes to ASIC's funding.

"However, we remain disappointed that the establishment of a statutory levy (as per this year’s federal budget) was included in the model. This is not compliant with the government’s own cost recovery guidelines and may mean that funds will need to pay for items that previously didn’t," Ms Volpato said.
The bill was passed despite both the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) expressing concerns over the funding model.

In November 2016, the government released a proposals paper for a new ASIC funding model, which shows the advice sector will be levied $24 million to refund the regulator.

In its submission to Treasury, the FPA said it was worried the model saying would “create a large burden on small businesses". The FPA was also concerned with the lack of detail and transparency involved in the consultation process.

In April, the AFA called the funding model “unfair” to advisers, and likely to put financial advice out of reach for those who need it most.

The statement from Ms O’Dwyer said regulations that provide additional detail on the operation of the industry funding model will be made shortly, ahead of the commencement of the model on 1 July 2017.

The industry funding model is in response to a recommendation made in the 2014 Murray Financial System Inquiry, as well as the 2013 Senate Inquiry into ASIC’s performance.

[Related: Fidante boutique appoints analyst]

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