It’s not too late to have your say when it comes to industry levies as the consultation period is still open.
More than 600 delegates at the Auckland leg of the Financial Services Council’s Get in Shape 2020 conference heard from Sharon Corbett, manager financial markets at MBIE, that they’d probably be paying more in levies to fund the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).
She told a crowded room at Eden Park that the feedback she’s hearing is “why now – weren’t levies for financial advice just set?”
It appears that while levies have risen; none of that money has been earmarked for the FMA’s wider role regulating the financial services industry.
“Up until now there hasn’t been an increase in FMA’s funding,” said Corbett. “Including to get ready to deal with new financial advice regime. And that’s because the FMA had some reserves that it could use first.
Unfortunately an increase in (FMA) funding does likely mean an increase in levies…
“But we are now at the point where we need to ensure the regulator is well resourced and able to well-implement this new regime and respond to other cost pressures across the FMA.
“Unfortunately an increase in (FMA) funding does likely mean an increase in levies. But we need to make sure we get the balance right between having a well-resourced regulator and that costs aren’t so great that they become a barrier to operating in the sector. So that is what we are consulting on right now.”
At the conference, which was supported by RiskinfoNZ, was Gavin Austin, director, AB Compliance.
He asked if government would increase its funding of the FMA, saying government funding for the regulator hasn’t been increased and that he didn’t want any increases in funding falling on people working in the industry.
Corbett said FMA’s funding is made up of money from the Crown (25%) and industry levies (75%).
“MBIE has assumed no increase in Crown funding in its consultation paper,” she said.
“That’s not because there won’t be an increase (in Crown funding). We just wanted to consult on the worst case scenario. But we do want to hear how much the Crown should be contributing.”
Corbett says funding recognises the “wide public benefits of having a well-resourced regulator and a well-regulated financial sector”.
“What we are asking in the consultation is what should that split be and how much should be funded by the Crown. So if you have views on that submit them.”
- Have your say on industry levies here. Consultation closes 28 February 2020.