A number of levies are to be introduced to help fund the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and the External Reporting Board (XRB)[1].

The levies have been introduced under the Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Regulations 2012 (Regulations) and will apply from 1 August 2012.

The tiered levy structure will involve a combination of additional fees collected through the Financial Service Providers Register, a revised Companies Office fee structure, and separate levies to be invoiced directly by the FMA.

Financial Service Providers' levies

The new annual confirmation levies that Financial Service Providers (FSPs) will be required to pay, in addition to existing fees, will range from $350 to $350,000.

The amount of the FMA levy will depend upon the FSPs' classification[2] under the Regulations and, for certain classes, its size (measured by reference to total assets, total managed assets or gross premium revenue, depending on the FSP class).

Details of the FMA levies which will be payable by FSPs can be found here.

New Companies Office fee structures

Most registration fees payable under the revised Companies Office fee structure will include FMA and XRB levy components. Increased Companies Office fees overall will also address a current funding deficit in respect of Companies Office register services.

The new or amended fees payable for Companies Office services include:

  • a re-introduced annual return fee of between $20 and $60 depending on the entity type (for companies it will be $45, comprising a $25 registration fee, a $10 FMA levy and a $10 XRB levy);
  • an increased fee of $2,327.11 to register a prospectus (due to a $2,000 FMA levy being added to the previous $327.11 fee);
  • slightly reduced registration fees for new companies, limited partnerships, friendly societies and credit unions, although all will include FMA and XRB levy components (for example, the registration fee for new companies will be reduced from the current online fee of $153.33 to $150); and
  • a fee of $270 for registering a building society.

See here for a more detailed outline of the new fees payable to the Companies Office.

FMA invoicing for levies

In addition to the levies payable by way of FSP registration, FSP confirmation levies and by Companies Office service users, the FMA will be invoicing some people directly, including listed companies (which will pay a separate annual levy of $2,000) and some market participants that are not registered as FSPs (ie registered exchanges, authorised futures exchanges and overseas auditors).

FMA discretion to waive levies

The FMA will be able to waive levies in exceptional circumstances or where a person (or entity) has special characteristics.

There will be a $115 fee to apply for a waiver, followed by additional hourly fees charged by the FMA to process the waiver application.