This intriguing metric comes against the backdrop of the recent Budget allocations. Senator Andrew Bragg from NSW posed questions to ASIC, revealing that last year's fines of $336 million also exceeded the levies collected, which stood at $313 million.

Interestingly, the increase in collected fines has become a focal point for financial advisors, who contend that the proceeds from fines should offset industry levies, a practice not currently adopted by the system.

Historically, except for the past two fiscal years, industry levies have outpaced regulatory fines by a wide margin. This shift sees fines growing substantially while levies have been somewhat stable.

Senator Bragg inquired about the government appropriations for ASIC over the previous five years. The data revealed a peak in appropriations in 2020-21 at $474.6 million.

One notable trend is the substantial growth in fines by ASIC, more than doubling from $155 million in 2017-18 to $372 million in 2022-23. This increase may highlight a stricter regulatory environment or a rise in non-compliance activities within the industry.