ASIC offers drought business guidance and fee cuts

ASIC offers drought help for agribusinesses

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The Australian Securities and Investment Commission is offering fee relief and help on financial counselling services

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The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is offering fee relief and help about financial counselling services to farmers and farm sector businesses squeezed by drought.

The corporate regulator has announced company-related fee cut options for business, including farmers, and wants to assist people to help their friends cope with mounting drought debts.

ASIC may be able to review fees or waive late fees which a company has incurred, or provide alternative payment options for companies affected by the drought and facing financial hardship.

“Unfortunately, the current drought is particularly severe, causing financial hardship to many,” said ASIC Commissioner John Price.

“ASIC is keen to offer whatever assistance we can to ease that burden and ensure that affected people can access resources to assist them during this challenging time.”

As the national corporate watchdog, ASIC's role is to enforce and regulate the company and financial services laws which protect Australian creditors, consumers and investors.

Details of how to apply for fee relief are on ASIC’s website.

Agribusinesses considering fee relief will need to include in their application details of their company, a contact person and their current situation.

They will also have to provide ASIC with evidence supporting their application.

The regulator is also keen to promote the free financial counselling is available to farmers and related small businesses struggling with debt.

Details of free financial counsellors are on ASIC’s MoneySmart website.

The commission has also prepared a guide on how people can help a friend or family member facing financial hardship, with those details available from ASIC’s MoneySmart website, too.

Anybody struggling with debt could call the free National Debt Hotline on (1800) 007 007.

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