ASIC Extends Relief for Foreign Firms Until 2023

ASIC is extending its transitional relief for FFSPs from the requirement to hold an AFS licence pending the outcome of the Australian Government’s consultation about their regulation.

June 11, 2021 | AtoZ Markets The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) on Friday announced the extension of temporary relief for all foreign financial service providers (FFSPs) that will allow them to operate in the country without an Australian Financial Services (AFS) license.

The relief has been extended for 12 months, that is, until 31 March 2023. During this period, the financial market regulator is expects that the Australian government to provide an outcome after consultation on the matter.

On 11 May 2021, the Aussie government released a proposal in its latest budget to restore relief of the AFS license requirement for FFSPs which already hold licenses in jurisdictions with ‘comparable financial service rules and obligations’. 

Moreover, they are considering creating a fast-track licensing process for FFSPs who want to establish permanent operations in the country.

Before now, the relief to the FFSPs was provided till 31 March 2022, which has been extended by the financial markets regulator.

ASIC paused assessment of licence applications lodged by FFSPs 

As Treasury will consult on proposals that affect licensing of FFSPs, ASIC has paused its assessment of licence applications lodged by FFSPs pending the outcome of the Government’s announced reforms, unless the applicant requests that we continue with the assessment of their application.

During this extended transitional period, ASIC will consider new applications for individual temporary licensing relief or new standard or foreign AFS licence applications from entities that cannot rely on the transitional relief.

FFSPs that have been or are granted a foreign AFS licence will be able to continue to operate their financial services business in Australia under the licence issued by ASIC pending any legislative changes arising from the Government’s consultation.

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