ASIC levy relief for advisers gets thumbs up

The SMSF Association welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to provide temporary and targeted relief on ASIC levies for financial advisers.

The decision means the ASIC levies charged for personal advice to retail clients will be
$1,142 per adviser – the 2018-19 level – for the next two years (2020-21 and 2021-22). The flat per licensee charge remains at $1,500. [ASIC’s levy estimate for 2020-21 was $3,138 per adviser.]

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says: “The freeze in the per adviser levy will provide advisers with much needed certainty and breathing space at a time when the advice industry is not only dealing with the impact of COVID-19 but is facing long-term structural change with the introduction of a Single Disciplinary Body and a Compensation Scheme of Last Resort currently before the Parliament.

“Significantly, the Government has also signalled it will review the ASIC Industry Funding Model, an initiative we have been calling for almost since the inception of the levy under the Australian Government Cost Recovery Guidelines.

“We strongly believe that the recent increases in the ASIC levy are unsustainable and are being unfairly borne by the current population of financial advisers.

“When the levy was introduced, there were 26,000 financial advisers, a figure that has fallen to nearly 19,000. Consequently, the cost per adviser has been rising exponentially.

“It’s also worth noting that a large portion of individual financial advisers work in small and medium-sized businesses and don’t have capacity to absorb large and unpredictable increases in costs. So, these costs are ultimately borne by consumers, making financial advice even more unaffordable.”