Medcraft pushes user-pays regulation system

by AB19 Feb 2014
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.”