Australian Financial Services Approved Licences Drops in 2019


According to ASIC, the total number of approved AFS licences drops from 6,170 in June 2018 to 6,159 in June 2019. Is Australia becoming a less attractive destination for financial companies?

17 December, 2019 | AtoZ Markets – The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) today released its overview of licencing and professional registration applications from July 2018 to June 2019. The report also describes ASIC decisions on applications for the relevant period.

AFS Approved Limited Licences in 2019

The document shows that the total number of approved licences has decreased (from 6,170 in June 2018 to 6,159 in June 2019). Given the generally constant number of new AFS licences approved each year, ASIC also explains that the decrease reflects an increasing number of cancellations. But, the total number of AFS licences is still significantly higher than at the start of the regime.

The total number of AFS and credit licence applications was 1,504 from July 2018 to June 2019. It is shorter than the 1,819 applications submitted in the previous year period by 17.3%.

During the reporting period, ASIC cancelled 342 AFS licences and suspended 11 AFS licences. The Australian regulator recently suspended the AFS licence for BlueLexus, Fibonetix, and UCI-Limited.

From the applications submitted in the most recent period, new AFS licences were 439. And, 589 were for changes to existing AFS licences. New credit licences were 243. Also, the existing credit licences were 233.

In 2018-2019, the Australian regulator denied nine AFS licence applications. A total of 172 AFS licence applications and 154 credit licence applications were voluntarily withdrawn before ASIC made an official decision. Both for AFS and credit licences, the regulator estimates that the number of denied applications would have been much higher. The applicants had not withdrawn their applications in response to ASIC comments.

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ASIC’s Efforts to Increase Transparency

During the twelve months, the regulator approved 327 new AFS licences and amended 495 AFS licences, of which approved 467 with additional regulatory results. Moreover, the data released by ASIC is part of ASIC’s efforts to increase transparency. According to the statement, the data also aims to provide advice to potential applicants.

Commenting on the data, Mr. Warren Day, Executive Director, Assessment and Intelligence, said: 

“The ASIC Licencing function plays an important role in controlling access for ASIC. It ensures that applicants who apply for an AFS licence, Credit licence, or auditor-related professional registration meet the minimum standards for providing regulated services.

We help to protect consumers by ensuring an appropriate level of scrutiny is applied to these applications. We are dedicated to fostering a better understanding of the nature of ASIC’s decision-making process.”

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