As part of efforts to increase transparency and provide guidance to prospective applicants, ASIC has released its latest report on its assessment of licensing and professional registration applications.
Mr Warren Day, Executive Director, Assessment & Intelligence said, ‘ASIC’s Licensing function serves an important gatekeeping role for ASIC, ensuring applicants seeking an Australian financial services (AFS) licence, credit licence or auditor-related professional registration meet minimum standards to offer regulated services. We help protect consumers by ensuring an appropriate level of scrutiny is applied to these applications.
‘We are keen to foster a better understanding of the nature of ASIC’s decision-making, what we consider when receiving an application and what is likely to increase the time required to consider an application’, Mr Day said,
The current report has been refocused to make clear the information ASIC wants prospective applicants to be aware of when making an application for a new licence, licence variation or professional registration.
ASIC’s report also provides useful insights about the regulatory and policy issues that impact ASIC’s licensing and registration application-related activities.
Mr Day said, ‘We encourage prospective applicants, and licensees intending to apply for variations, to review this report to better inform their applications and understand the regulatory context when applying.’
In 2018-2019, ASIC considered approximately 2,491 applications (including applications made in previous financial years), with 64 per cent relating to AFS licence applications, 27 per cent relating to credit licence applications and the remaining 9 per cent relating to professional auditor registrations.
Of the 2,491 total applications, 53 per cent (1,326) were approved. Of all AFS licence and credit licence applications that were approved, 60 per cent were approved in a form different in scope to the licence authorisations sought by the applicant or in form different to the standard conditions.
ASIC assessed 92 applications for registration of SMSF auditors and approved 61, while assessing 115 company auditors and approving 87.
During 2018-19, 11 AFS licences and five credit licenses were suspended and approximately 16 per cent of the 342 AFS licences and 27 per cent of 546 credit licences cancelled were cancelled at the initiation of ASIC.
Report 650 Overview of licensing and professional registration application: July 2018 to June 2019 (REP 650)
REP 650 provides an overview of ASIC’s activity and oversight in relation to applications for AFS licences, Australian credit licences, liquidator registrations, company auditor and approved SMSF auditor registrations, financial markets, clearing and settlement facilities, and derivative trade repositories.
The annual publication of these reports is intended to provide greater transparency about our regulatory activities and information about volume and outcomes from our licensing and registration assessments.