ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft is meeting with industry groups to spruik the idea of a business levy to help fund the regulator.
The proposal would see businesses pay $350m in fees each year and would pave the way for a sale of the regulator’s business registration arm – worth an estimated $6bn.
The model is already in use in to fund ASIC’s $14m market supervision model through a levy on stockbrokers and the exchanges.
ASIC’s budget is currently $350m, but it’s revenue-making arm, which includes business registration and document administration, raises around $717m and delivers a dividend of more than $360m each year for the government.
Nationals senator John Williams told the AFR
as long as the public interest was protected there was no reason ASIC’s profit-making arm could not be sold for the private sector to run.
“When you have a serious budget problem like this then you have to look at these things to see if a sale would work,” Senator Williams said.
“Not a lot of Australians worry about the registration of private companies, you would have to protect the public interest by keeping registration fees in line with inflation but if the private sector could do it better, I don’t have a problem with it. You do lose the income stream from the business, so you have to find the money to run ASIC.”