The Government yesterday introduced the final aspect of its Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) industry funding model to Parliament, which, if passed, would see registry fees increase to reflect their actual cost to the regulator.
Currently, fees associated with regulatory services were excluded from the fees-for-services imposed by ASIC and instead only would incur a nominal charge. The proposed legislation would end this historical differentiation.
"No longer will Australian taxpayers have to subsidise any difference between the fee an entity pays and the actual costs incurred by ASIC, ensuring ASIC's costs are borne by those that have created the need for it," Kelly O'Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, said.
As the industry reeled from the aftermath of the Royal Commission’s second round of hearings, O’Dwyer was optimistic that the reforms would improve accountability and compliance, of both the regulator and those it regulated.
"The industry funding model promotes equity, encourages greater regulatory compliances, and enhances ASIC's transparency and accountability. These Bills will strengthen ASIC's capabilities to ensure it is an effective regulator,” she said.
“The framework will ensure ASIC is transparent and held accountable throughout its periodic review in setting fee amounts by involving a public consultation process utilising a cost recovery implementation service.”
ASIC would also include industry funding on its external committees’ and panels’ agendas for consideration, as an additional accountability mechanism.
If passed into law, the changes would take effect from 1 July, this year. The Government said that it would review the industry funding model accountability framework in three years.