ASIC has extended the existing relief for business introduction services until 1 October 2022. The extended relief is subject to a new requirement that persons who rely on the relief from 1 April 2022 must provide notice to ASIC.
From 1 October 2022, the relief will be further amended to:
- extend the relief for interests in managed investment schemes until 1 April 2025; and
- clarify that the design and distribution obligations (DDO) apply to persons who, but for the relief, would otherwise need to comply with the DDO.
The existing relief in relation to Chapters 6D and 2L of the Corporations Act 2001 will expire on 1 October 2022 on the basis that the crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime facilitates flexible and low-cost access to capital for small to medium sized unlisted companies. The CSF regime was introduced in September 2017 for eligible public companies and October 2018 for eligible proprietary companies.
ASIC considers that the relief for scheme interests continues to be useful for managed investment schemes as these entities recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ASIC consulted on these amendments to its relief for business introduction services in Consultation Paper 357 Remaking relief for business introduction services: ASIC Instrument 2017/186 (CP 357).
ASIC has also released Report 723 Response to submissions on CP 357 Remaking relief for business introduction services (REP 723) today. REP 723 highlights the key issues raised in submissions to CP 357 and outlines ASIC’s responses to those issues.
ASIC does not at this stage intend to remake the relief when it expires on 1 April 2025.
Business introduction services identify potential investors and issuers or sellers by circulating information about investment opportunities.
The original ASIC Class Order [CO 02/273] Business introduction and matching services, gave conditional relief from the fundraising, financial product disclosure, anti-hawking and advertising requirements in the Corporations Act 2001 that would apply to a person making or calling attention to offers of securities or interests in a registered managed investment scheme through a business introduction service.
The relief provided under ASIC Corporations (Repeal and Transitional) Instrument 2017/186, which preserves the effect of [CO 02/273], was due to expire on 1 April 2022.
The extension of existing relief is effected by ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2022/0077, which extends the relief in ASIC Corporations (Repeal and Transitional) Instrument 2017/186 to 1 October 2022. ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2022/0077 will be available on the Federal Register of Legislation by 31 March 2022.
© Australian Securities & Investments Commission. Reproduced with permission.