Your levies at work – how ASIC funds consumer submissions

Consumer representatives on the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s Consumer Advisory Panel (CAP) are paid $395 per meeting inclusive of GST with the chair receiving $1,800. 

Amid controversy over the role played by the CAP in consultations around the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) code of conduct, ASIC has revealed to a Parliamentary Committee precisely what members of the panel are paid. 

What is more, ASIC has confirmed that while it does not have a dedicated budget, it will from time to time support a funding allocation of between $10,000 and $15,000 for the preparation of consumer submissions to an existing policy consultation process. 

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“This will generally be in response to CAP’s identified priorities (e.g. based on legislative/reform issues impacting consumers) though whether to fund a submission is at ASIC’s discretion. This typically occurs where there is a need for a consumer voice in a consultation process and where: 

  • Consumer groups may lack capacity themselves to prepare their own submission, given the volume and competing demands for submissions; 
  • There is a clear benefit in a joint consumer submission (that provides for broader consultation with other consumer groups or organisations) to assist policy makers; and/or 
  • Specific legal or operational expertise is necessary to make a considered contribution to the debate. 

ASIC said that, ultimately, it made assessment as to whether the potential benefit of a submission to the legislative/reform process to which it would contribute “justifies the provision of funding”. 

“ASIC does the procurement, is the contracting party and manages the contract to ensue delivery and value for money consistent with our general approach to procurements. Nevertheless, ASIC does not approve, veto or give instructions about the content or focus of these consumer submissions,” it said. 

“As with the other costs of CAP, the cost of such submissions is met through the strategy team’s core budget. That core budget forms part of ASIC’s overall budget which is recovered through the industry funding model.” 

“ASIC considers that CAP funded submissions have played an important role in ensuring the consumer voice is heard in consultation processes on issues that materially affect the lives of Australian consumers,” the ASIC answer said. 

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Total Regulatory Capture Corruption.
The hypocrisy that Advisers are forced to fund ASIC that uses this funding to be totally Anti Advisers and Promote Industry super.
Advisers were forced to fund the SMSF ASIC cost propaganda that ASIC knew was completely wrong and corrupt. ASIC won’t fix the SMSF coatings now proven as Lies as it doesn’t support its Pro Industry Fund agenda.
Advisers were also forced to fund ASIC to corruptly buy conflicted FARSEA submissions from biased, unethical and undisclosed academics to make Standard 3 completely unreal.
ASIC needs to be cleaned out totally , drain the swamp and start again.
Regulatory Capture Anti Adviser corruption must be stopped

The problem with this model is that so called "consumer groups" like Choice and CALC no longer represent the interests of real consumers. These organisations have been hijacked by political extremists. This bizarre ASIC scheme not only provides a vehicle for these fringe dwellers to impose their extremist views on society, it also pays them to do so! Consumers are much worse off as a result. The government needs to stop this ridiculous situation immediately.

All sounds well and good.....BUT you can't then have two consumer advocacy groups (Choice and Consumer Action Law Centre) that sit on both the FASEA Board and this ASIC Panel. They were producing so called "independent" academic research to help their own argument on Standard 3. Total conflict of interest....made worst that is coming FASEA!!!!

ASIC funds their own agenda using our money to get the outcome they want and the things they’re trying to virtue signal to US are honesty, openness, transparency, trust, and removing conflicts of interest!

It would be laughable.....if it wasn't morally corrupt.

I bet the consumers are happy with these submissions that are leading to higher costs and restricted access to quality advice. Academics and real life business don’t mix.

how many meetings were there @ $395

Not enough!

Good reason why the FPA and AFA should either be merged or members asked for some of that $12 million in cash sitting on the FPA's balance sheet back. But it's what you get when members are happy paying $1,096 a year for some scones, a cup of tea, a Golf day in Melbourne, and a webinar. Professionalism has a long way to go in this industry me thinks.

Lots of rain about this morning Yogi. I guess you blame FPA for that too.

Dear Dante, Run back to your discounted membership fees all paid in bulk, your professional bribe program, and the $12 million sitting ideally in cash.

This isn't Dante. He's too busy organising those traffic jams between your home and office.

ha ha..Dante is most likely having lunch with a large Super fund taking instructions.... run along you FPA back to your TPB membership because you have no back to your membership because you're a CFP and it's you're only post nominal back to your $1,096 a year membership because your employer pays for it....

Oh well, that makes complete sense then...And the fact that there's 'nothing to see here' would be why it's all so secretive. That'd be why ASIC funneled money through academics on the sly to generate a report that 'coincidentally' supported ASICs view on the Standards.

Totally above board.

I'm going to have to make a real effort to not read industry news next year, because this years(decade?)-long Kafkaesque nightmare is driving me bonkers. Everywhere I look, there's a reason to start screaming at the clouds. What might it be today?

Is it the ignorance of those in charge?
The lack of progress dealing with the original sin at the heart of what we do (vertical integration)?
The bandaid-on-top-of-bandaid over the gaping wound that is the AFSL system?
The stomach-churning self-interest constantly playing out?
The crass stupidity of it all?
The constant beatings by anybody with a platform and a megaphone?
The sheer, pointless difficulty in providing advice to Australian's about their money? (Difficulty imposed, invariably, by people that have never sat in front of a client in their lives, mind you.)

Or is it the rank hypocrisy?

The disgusting, permeating stench of hypocrisy, from the 'ethical' body staffed by book authors and university heads through to the product providers smiling at you, talking about being your partner, while kicking you in the shins and stabbing you in the ear.

Maybe it's the years of fearing what's coming around the corner, what the next thought bubble from a suit keeping the seat warm for a few months is going to mean for my business, my livelihood, or most importantly, my clients?

Or, you know what, maybe it's the deep, unavoidable fear that I've hitched my professional career to the wrong horse and will waste the next 10-15 years of my life trying to make a proper go of it in this ridiculous, rigged, idiotic, stinking system.

Something has to change, but I don't expect common sense to start coming to our rescue. So just not reading about all the misdeeds might be the only way to stay positive next year, and focus on:
- Helping my clients as much as I can
- Making my practice as bulletproof as possible
- Growing my practice so we can help more people

Merry Christmas everyone :)

I'm with you... every day I read something else to make my blood boil. Today I can imagine what thee conversation in the ASIC party room was like.... "This year, we're going to screw advisers, and we're going to do it using their money". So much negativity, I think I need a change...

If this doesn't qualify as a "conflict of interest", then I don't know what does. Using funds paid by advisers and licensees for consumer groups to complete submissions that ASIC uses against the advisers and licensees that their over-regulation applies to, and in turn forms part of the regulatory costs that drive up the cost of advice. As many have pointed out, a 68% increase in the ASIC Supervisory Levy over the past 2 years is unacceptable.

ASIC is corrupt.

More proof.

There is no confidence in ASIC, either within the financial community or consumers.

If I understand this. ASIC fund consumer advocacy groups due to the complexity and number of submissions, but does not fund advice individuals or groups who also have the same complexity and number of submissions. That seems biased to me...... What is the process that ASIC use to select the consumer groups, and how does it review submissions from organizations that are unaware of the complexities of the laws and regulations.

“ASIC does the procurement, is the contracting party and manages the contract to ensue delivery and value for money consistent with our general approach to procurements. Nevertheless, ASIC does not approve, veto or give instructions about the content or focus of these consumer submissions,” it said.

Are we really meant to believe this?

ASIC pays for the submissions, does the work, just gets some else to put their name to it? I have passed the Ethics exam but I'm stumped on this one. I believe it stinks but I am sure FASEA and ASIC believe it is fine - but I'm just an Adviser in the barrel.

How can Choice lack capacity when ASIC chaperoned a $40million "fine" from CBA and WBC straight into Choice's pockets?

Yes, why isn't there more clarity around that particular transaction, how they were allowed to make that decision and what those funds have been used for? Hopefully Wilson & co can get into that next!

How come no-one in any position to make a difference has addressed this issue? I'm forced to pay ASIC through the nose so they can stab me in the back? And now ASIC has become the single regulatory body for the industry? And I'm going to have to pay more to fund that? It just beggars belief. Welcome to 2021 and beyond.

Correct - on the one hand you have Wilson, Hume etc all exposing how corrupt and broken ASIC is, and then little Joshy Frydenburg goes and awards them even more powers and oversight? Trouble is, this new one is a super power - utilising the 'ethics' rationale behind everything, especially 'conflicts', 'intent' and standard 12, they now will no longer even have to attempt to prosecute via the Corporate Laws & regulations, they will have the ability to simply strike you off the list as compliant according to FASEA ethical standards. If you don't believe that, just think about how they handled the Dover situation.

Agreed. Typical bloody minded left wing ex-lawyers who couldn't make it in their own profession, so became bureaucrats.

Rather than reward the good planners and AFSL's who are doing the right thing by subsidising their fees with the penalty payments from those doing wrong, they would rather throw it away on these lefty anti-planner groups. Just shows how corrupt and twisted the whole of ASIC has become.

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