ASIC updates guidance on ETP naming conventions

ASIC has updated its guidance on naming conventions for licensed Australian exchanges that admit exchange traded products (ETPs) following a public consultation.

As proposed in Consultation Paper 356 ETP naming conventions: Updates to INFO 230 (CP 356), ASIC has divided the naming conventions into two levels of labelling:

  • primary labels (‘ETF’ and ‘Structured Product’) based on product type; and
  • secondary labels (‘Active’ and ‘Complex’) for products with specific risks or strategies.

The updates to Information Sheet 230 Exchange-traded products: Admission guidelines (INFO 230) reflect stakeholder feedback from CP 356. Respondents supported ASIC continuing to provide guidance on ETP naming conventions but sought more detailed definitions for some of the labels, and the need to ensure consistency in interpretation by licensed exchanges. ASIC has revised the definitions of ‘Active’ and ‘Complex’ and included more detailed guidance for licensed exchanges in INFO 230.

ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said, ‘Naming conventions for ETPs are one of the ways that ASIC and licensed exchanges help to ensure that admission and monitoring standards for ETPs continue to support fair, orderly and transparent markets, particularly in the context of ETPs that have unique or novel features.’

‘The overall reduction in the number of defined labels in our guidance is intended to encourage licensed exchanges and ETP issuers to focus more attention on whether the full name of the product is true to label’, said Ms Press.

The issues raised during the consultation have been published in Report 750 Response to submissions on CP 356 ETP naming conventions: Updates to INFO 230.

In addition to updating its guidance in INFO 230, ASIC has also reviewed and updated relevant content on the Moneysmart website. We strongly encourage all ETP industry stakeholders to consider how they can contribute to investor education in this area.

Next steps

The industry transition to updated ETP naming conventions will be overseen by licensed exchanges. ASIC understands that the exchanges need time to develop plans for the transition in detail, including identification of any areas where further consultation with industry or work with data vendors is required. We expect the exchanges to provide updates to the market about expected timeframes as they progress this work.


ETPs are typically governed by a different rule framework to ordinary listed securities. When the ASX’s AQUA rules first launched in Australia in 2008, ASIC was actively involved in considering the appropriateness of each product admitted. It was in this context that we originally developed naming conventions for ETPs and that licensed exchanges implemented them. The aim was to develop a common terminology to help investors identify specific product features and investment strategies that changed the risk profile of these products.

Today, ASX and Cboe Australia have the required rule frameworks to quote ETPs in this jurisdiction. Both exchanges apply our guidance to ensure that the trading names of ETPs admitted to trading status are consistent with INFO 230.

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