ASIC Extends Temporary COVID-19 Relief Measures


Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has extended the temporary COVID-19 relief for certain capital raisings and financial advice due to ongoing uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

23 September 2020 | AtoZ Markets – COVID-19 is primarily a deadly virus, but it has a significant impact on the economy and financial system. Australia’s coronavirus pandemic is fading faster than expected. However, COVID-19 pandemic poses many significant challenges for Australian financial companies and consumer.

ASIC is focusing its efforts on these challenges. The regulator prioritizes its regulatory measures to protect vulnerable consumers and maintain the resilience and stability of the financial system.

ASIC Extends Capital Raisings and Financial Advice Relief

In economic uncertainties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, ASIC has extended its temporary COVID-19 relief for capital raising and financial advice. The regulator has made it easier for listed companies to raise capital and strengthen their balance sheets during the pandemic.

ASIC has announced that it extended the COVID-19 relief in light of the government’s extension of the scheme to assist consumers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulator has extended following relief:

  • The ASIC Corporations (Share and Interest Purchase Plans) Instrument 2019/547 will now expire on 1 January 2021; previously it was on 2 October 2020.
  • ASIC no-action position for superannuation trustees will now expire on 31 December 2020; previously it was on 24 September 2020.
  • The ASIC Corporations (Trading Suspensions Relief) Instrument 2020/289 will now expire on 1 January 2021; previously it was on 2 October 2020.
  • The ASIC Corporations (COVID-19 – Advice-related Relief) Instrument 2020/355 will now expire on 15 April 2021; previously it was on 15 October 2020.

Importantly, companies seeking to rely on these temporary reliefs must notify ASX in writing and include details on how the relief will address COVID-19 challenges.

ASIC said “it will continue to monitor the appropriateness of these temporary relief measures in light of the impacts of COVID-19 on capital markets and on-demand for financial advice. If ASIC considers it appropriate to end the relief before the expiration dates or to extend it further. ASIC will give sufficient notice before any early repeal or extension is implemented”.

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