12 May 2009

Further Enhancing the Capabilities of Australia's Corporate Regulator

The Australian Government will provide a significant funding increase to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in this year's Budget of $81.9 million over four years.

This will allow ASIC to boost its monitoring and enforcement activities and to manage the ongoing effects of the global recession.

Funding of $63.2 million across four years from 2009-10 to 2012-13 will enable ASIC to engage additional 'front-line' resources to perform a range of new and existing enforcement and monitoring activities.

"It is essential to have a properly resourced regulator to ensure maximum investor protection and market integrity, particularly amid this global recession which is impacting businesses in different ways," Minister Sherry said.

"These additional resources will enhance ASIC's monitoring and enforcement capabilities and its regulatory oversight."

In addition, the Government will provide funding of $18.7 million in 2010-11 specifically targeted at the acute requirements being placed on ASIC as a result of the global recession. This funding will enable ASIC to retain the additional resources required to manage and mitigate the effects of the global recession and the flow through impacts to the real economy.

Complementing this extra funding for ASIC, the Australian Treasury will also receive an additional $5 million in 2010-11 to help with the increased demands for policy advice arising from the global recession.

This investment supplements the $30 million provided to ASIC in the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO). Along with the $66.7 million in additional support in 2008-09 to perform the role of national consumer credit regulator, this is a total of $178.6 million in new resources for ASIC.

From the 2010-11 financial year, ASIC fees and charges will be indexed in line with the consumer price index (CPI). This will result in a positive return of $84.3 million over the three years to 2012-2013.

These initiatives are a further demonstration of the Government's commitment to ensuring that ASIC is appropriately funded to continue its vital role regulating Australia's financial markets in time of unprecedented financial volatility.