AFA responds to ASIC Funding Levy increase

AFA News 19 August 2021. On Friday 13 August 2021, the AFA made a submission to ASIC as part of the consultation process for their 2020/21 Cost Recovery Implementation Statement, which sets out the projection for the ASIC Funding Levy for the 2020/21 year.

The ASIC Cost Recovery Implementation Statement for the 2020/21 year, that was released on 23 July 2021, projects that the ASIC Funding Levy for financial advisers will be $3,138, however, this is based on 21,308 advisers, and the real number is much closer to 19,000.  We fear that the actual number for the Levy will be closer to $3,500.

We have set out in our submission the history of the costs that are being charged to financial advisers.

In our submission, we have highlighted the reasons why we believe that the current Funding Model is inequitable and unfair, including the following issues:

  • A substantial proportion of the cost is enforcement activity that is largely related to the Banking Royal Commission and institutions that are no longer in the financial advice sector.
  • Further, most of these matters are related to misconduct at the institutional licensee level and not the adviser level.
  • In the event that ASIC is successful in these litigation matters, any penalties that are awarded are paid straight to the Government and do not offset the costs of the case. Where costs are awarded, this amounts to around two-thirds of the cost, but only where ASIC is successful.  Financial advisers are funding cases, where any benefit flows to the Government.
  • We do not accept that existing authorised financial advisers should need to pay for the cost of investigation and litigation related to companies and people who are not licensed.

We have specifically challenged the equity of financial advisers picking up 60% of the cost of the litigation ASIC took against Westpac that ended up in the High Court, where the High Court took the view that the conduct of the Westpac call centre operators amounted to personal advice and not general advice.  We do not accept that this should have been charged to financial advisers

Please click here to see a copy of the AFA submission on the 2020/21 ASIC Funding Levy.

For any questions on our ASIC Funding Levy submission, please email

Issued 19.08.2021. AFA Policy & Education Update