The Federal Government will provide temporary relief to financial advisers by reducing the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) levies charged for FY21 and FY22.
This relief would see ASIC levies charged for personal advice to retail clients restored to their FY19 level of $1,142 per adviser for the next two years (FY21 and FY22). The flat per licensee charge would remain at $1,500.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said: “While this relief takes effect, Treasury will also review ASIC's Industry Funding Model, to ensure it remains fit for purpose given structural changes taking place in the advice industry.
“Through our efforts, the Morrison Government is easing cost pressures on financial advisers at a time when they need it most, while ensuring Australians have access to more affordable system.”
These changes included the single disciplinary body and the compensation scheme of last resort, which were currently working their way through the legislative system and would rely on industry funding.
The FY21 ASIC levy was expected to $3,138 per adviser, plus the flat fee of $1,500 – an increase of $712 from the previous financial year.
Senator Jane Hume, Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, said the ASIC levy had been the biggest issue raised by advisers to her.
“In 2020, during the worst days of the pandemic, thousands of Australians turned to their financial advisers,” Hume said.
“For so many Australians, considered advice from a professional and experienced adviser was what helped them through the worst of the COVID-induced recession.
“Ensuring that Australians can continue to access high quality, professional and affordable financial advice is so important as we emerge from the pandemic.”
Hume said this was in line with the Government’s broader program improve regulatory alignment and cut red tape for financial advice businesses.
“These changes will relieve advisers so they can focus on giving financial advice, while Australians can be confident that they will always receive affordable, high-quality advice,” Hume said.
“I want Australian households to have access to affordable, high quality advice, and this measure will take us one step closer on that journey.”