Fees and charges levied by the corporate regulator have soared 7 per cent to $717 million, driven by revenue from the new National Business Names Register.
The fees, which include company search fees, licence fees and fines, are charged on behalf of the government and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission does not get to keep the money. It has been suggested ASIC might hive off the company registry as part of a restructure of the under-pressure regulator. In his chairman's report, ASIC head Greg Medcraft said he welcomed a Senate inquiry into its performance, launched in June after concerns about its response to rogue financial planners at the Commonwealth Bank.
He said ASIC was "thinking about the current regulatory boundaries" and the way particular sectors were regulated.
Mr Medcraft said: "For example, we are considering whether disclosure is the best way to address certain market failures, new forms and channels for disclosure — including e-learning — and what behavioural economics tells us about how consumers make decisions."