The ASIC Supervisory Cost Recovery Levy Bill 2017, which will enable the regulator to recoup costs from the industries it supervises, has been passed into law.
Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O'Dwyer said the passing of the bill reflects the Government's "plan to improve consumer outcomes in the financial services sector."
She cited multiple benefits of the new model, including that entities regulated by ASIC will now bear the costs of regulation rather than taxpayers; that good conduct will drive down supervisory levies; and that ASIC's own transparency and accountability will be enhanced through the publication of its expenditure, performance and regulatory priorities.
ASIC chair Greg Medcraft said the new model "is an important milestone not just for ASIC, but also for the companies and wider corporate sector that we regulate."
"Industry funding, in one form or another, applies to other areas of public oversight in Australia and in many comparable economies around the world," Medcraft said.
"Not only will the different elements of the broad business sector more fairly share the load, but the taxpaying public will benefit through the more accountable use of the funds provided for the task."
The Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees welcomed the new laws, saying they would lead to greater regulatory transparency, but might also lead to higher costs.
"An industry funded model for ASIC will see greater transparency of how the regulator is funded and how the funding will be applied," AIST senior policy adviser Karen Volpato said.
However, she added that "the inclusion of a statutory levy is not compliant with the Government's own cost recovery guidelines and may mean that funds will need to pay for items that they previously didn't."