ASIC, financial advice

Adviser levy set to increase

adviser levy

The government will end the temporary relief program on the ASIC levy paid by financial advisers from the end of this financial year.

The federal government will end the temporary relief program on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) financial adviser levy paid by individual practitioners and licensees.

Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones made the announcement while releasing the final report on the review of the ASIC industry funding model (IFM) today.

“The temporary levy relief for [the personal financial advice licensees] sub‑sector will not be extended further,” Jones said.

The levy was frozen by the former government in August 2021, which reduced it to the 2018/19 level of $1142 per adviser and $1500 per licensee, after the advice sector pushed back against a 31 per cent increase in the impost from $2426 to $3138 for the 2021 financial year.

According to the report, the program resulted in $34.2 million and $33.9 million not being recovered from the personal financial advice licensee sub-sector for 2020/21 and 2021/22 respectively.

The revised ASIC levies charged to advisers for personal advice to retail clients are not yet known, however, an announcement by the regulator is expected.

The review, led by Treasury in consultation with ASIC, the Department of Finance and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, found the settings of the ASIC IFM were broadly appropriate but refinements could be made within the existing framework to improve the way regulatory costs were recovered.

It made 10 recommendations, directing four of those to ASIC, including spreading the costs of certain regulatory activities, such as taking action against unlicenced operators and regulating emerging sectors either across a wider population or over time to recognise the wider benefits of those activities.

ASIC was also asked to undertake further consultation to ensure sub‑sector definitions, metrics and formulas used to calculate levies remain fit‑for‑purpose and enhance its reporting, transparency and consultation arrangements on the IFM, while the government would delegate the fee‑setting power to the regulator to ensure fee amounts continue to reflect full cost recovery.

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