ASIC releases its third licensing activity report

ASIC today published its third report on its approach to licence applications.

Report 478 Overview of licensing and professional registration applications: July to December 2015 (REP 478) sets out recent regulatory outcomes achieved by ASIC in relation to Australian financial services (AFS) applications, Australian credit licence applications, liquidator registration applications, company auditor and approved SMSF auditor registration applications.

The report is part of ASIC’s ongoing commitment to providing greater public information about our regulatory activities. ASIC’s first licensing activity report was published in May 2015 (refer: 15-118MR).

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, ‘ASIC is seeking to ensure that there is a robust compliance culture in place when businesses set up or vary their licence. We are continuing to pay close attention to licence applications in the areas of retail OTC derivatives and limited licensing.’

‘ASIC also has a focus on licensing issues in the broader fintech sector, including marketplace lending, digital (robo) advice and crowd sourced funding’ Mr Kell said.

‘The results in our report indicate the importance of maintaining high standards, given the significant impact a licence holder may have on a consumer’s financial wellbeing’ he said.

For 1 July to 31 December 2015:

  • ASIC assessed approximately 1,879 applications, with 35% relating to a new licence application and the remaining 47% relating to variations to existing licence; 18% related to professional registration (liquidators and auditors)
  • Of the total number of applications assessed, 47% of these related to an Australian financial services (AFS) licence and 35% related to an Australian credit licence
  • 36% of all applications assessed during this period were approved
  • 57% of those approved were in a form other than as requested by the applicant (with 71% of these relating to an AFS licence and 46% related to a credit licence)
  • Nine AFS licences were suspended, 98 AFS licences were cancelled and 192 credit licences were cancelled, and
  • ASIC assessed 369 applications for professional registration as liquidators and auditors.

Licensing liaison meetings

ASIC will hold meetings in Sydney and Melbourne in the fourth quarter of this year. Licensing will also remain a topic for discussion at ASIC’s regional liaison meetings in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Perth. We will again publishing an agenda for these meetings on our website and invitations will be sent out closer to the time of the meetings.

To register your interest in attending these liaison meetings, please click here.

Download REP 478.

© Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Reproduced with permission.