Treasurer’s office insists ASIC will have more, not less staff

The Federal Government has denied that Budget documents point to a drop in staffing for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and is arguing that the regulator will be left with more staff when its registry functions move to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). 

Reacting to a report in Money Management that the Budget documents pointed to a net loss of 218 staff next financial year, the office of the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, argued that ASIC would arguably have more staff at its disposal in the aftermath of the registry platform transfer. 

“In 2018-19, the Government announced its modernising business registers program. Under this program, various business registries and data holdings will be moved to a new registry platform administered by the Australian Business Registrar within the Australian Taxation Office. As part of the next stage of this implementation, ASIC’s registry functions and approximately 221 staff were transferred to the ATO in April 2021,” it said. 

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“As a result, in 2021-22 ASIC’s expenditure will reduce by $23 million. Taking into account the transfer of these 221 staff, ASIC has more staff in 2021-22 than in 2020-21,” Frydenberg’s office said. 

Budget Document Number 4 dealing with the average staffing levels (ASLs) of Government departments and agencies pointed to ASIC having 2,096 staffers in 2020-21 and 1878 in 2021-22. 

The discussion around ASIC resourcing and expenditure comes against the background of adviser concern at the recent 60% increase in the so-called ASIC levy, notwithstanding suggestions by some ASIC executives that it may reduce in coming years as some regulatory activity declines. 




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With all the clients be dropped from Financial Planning practices and reduction in Planners across the country right now, ASIC will need more staff for the inevitable increase in unlicensed advice - unless the intention is for all these people to receive general advice from Industry Super?
The last thing ASIC needs is more staff, but Treasury loves the work ASIC does - Treasury is a problem.

....and that's how it's going to work.

I spoke to a fellow a few days ago who told me he'd spoken to his industry super fund who advised him that now he is over 60, he can transfer half his super to TTR pension. When he asked how much he could draw, he was told that there's a loophole, and if he told them that he was retired, he could draw the whole amount.

No prizes for guessing what happened... he drew half immediately, bought a pink diamond and some digital currency. Went back later and draw the rest and bought more digital currency.

A somewhat disturbing result from General "advice" (maybe information, bordering on incitement to tax fraud), combined with "Where are you going to get advice when advice is unavailable or unaffordable?"

Good job, Libs, ASIC et al...

Does ASIC investigate "unlicenced" advice? I was under the impression this was outside their jurisdiction?

The fines and potential time behind bars for Unlicensed Advise is less than the fines and time behind bars for incorrect FDS - so no point ASIC chasing down Unlicensed Advice - which is why it is now the preferred way to deliver advice? Seems to be more unlicensed advise out there than licensed.

I understand Melissa Caddick was reported to ASIC several years ago. ASIC did nothing. Seems like ASIC do not investigate unlicensed advice until after the money is gone and the person has been dead for several months. Then they lay charges against the dead person, hoping this will make it appear that they are doing a good job....

Will more staff help ASIC control costs - since Danielle Press now admits ASIC got it "badly wrong"?
And why is Treasury giving ASIC more staff?

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