ASIC, Compliance, financial advice

More details needed on levy spending

ASIC adviser levy FAAA Sarah Abood

ASIC should provide the advice sector with further information on how it spends more than $55 million each year on enforcement work, given the recent increase in the adviser levy.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) should provide greater detail on how it spends funds collected from advisers for oversight of the sector, given the recent jump in the adviser levy, according to the Financial Advice Association Australia (FAAA).

FAAA chief executive Sarah Abood made the call for more information about how ASIC spends money collected from the advice sector as part of a statement to the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into the investigation and enforcement work of the corporate regulator.

“ASIC is industry funded on a user-pays model and it apparently spent $55.5 million on oversight of financial advisers in the last financial year,” Abood said.

“This is more than it spent on any other sector, including listed companies, super funds, insurers and the wholesale sector. As a result, the ASIC levy for financial advisers has almost tripled since an earlier freeze to over $3200 an adviser.

“We think that our members may be paying for expenditure that should not be attributed to them. However, we have no visibility of how ASIC attributes its enforcement costs and very little information is provided to the regulated population on how its money is being spent.

“More transparency would allow for any errors to be picked up, ensuring costs are being shared fairly, improving confidence in the system.”

She added more transparency and feedback could also be applied to the use of information provided by the financial adviser population in regards to possible practitioner misconduct.

“Our members are proud to be considered and trusted as professionals and are well placed and highly motivated to identify and stop problems in our sector early. They often ask us to pass on information about misconduct to ASIC,” she said.

“In most cases no further information is provided or requested by ASIC and we are unaware of whether any action has been taken.

“This is disheartening for those who have taken time and trouble, and sometimes risk, to report misbehaviour and it lessens the chance that future reports will be made.”

Copyright © SMS Magazine 2024

ABN 43 564 725 109

Benchmark Media

Site design Red Cloud Digital