Recent comments from ASIC regarding licensing

by Dentons


Members of our team were invited to attend a licensing liaison meeting at ASIC’s offices in Sydney last Thursday.

Below are some matters discussed by ASIC which may be of interest to you.

  1. Timing of ASIC’s AFSL application evaluation process: The time that ASIC takes to process AFSL applications, including applications to vary an AFSL, is currently longer than usual due to the increase in ASIC’s workload on limited licences (for accountants). At the moment, an application for a new AFSL which involves no complications or issues is taking approximately 7-8 months to process. ASIC expects this timeframe to reduce to 2-3 months by the end of June when it completes its assessment of all outstanding limited licence applications. ASIC was less specific in relation to current timeframes for processing AFSL variation applications, indicating only that such applications are taking less time than new AFSL applications. However, ASIC is only completing 21% of variation applications within its target of 60 days.
  2. Commencement of ASIC industry funding model on 1 July 2017: The new ASIC industry funding model (or ‘user pays’ model) commences on 1 July 2017 (though collection of levies will not occur until January 2019 in respect of the 2017/2018 financial year). As the amount of the levy will be determined by the number of authorisations a licensee holds, ASIC recommends that licensees should review and ‘rationalise’ their AFSL by removing any authorisations that are no longer necessary in order to minimise the amount payable.
  3. Compliance plans: ASIC remains heavily focussed on culture. It expects compliance plans to be tailored to and reflect the business being operated by the licensee and that compliance plans should be used by the business to help build a culture of compliance. If a licensee submits an application to vary a licence, ASIC will look at the licensee’s compliance plan to see whether it needs to be updated to reflect the proposed business.
  4. Innovation Hub: ASIC encourages advisers and fintechs to engage ASIC in discussions at an early stage of establishing a business as ASIC may be able to give valuable insight at that early stage as to what licences and authorisations a fintech may need. This early engagement on authorisations can halve the time taken by ASIC to evaluate the licence application. There have also been instances where ASIC has been able to tell a fintech that no licence is required for the proposed business.
  5. Retail OTC derivatives: ASIC considers these to be high risk products and referred to its recent review of the retail OTC derivatives industry. ASIC says that when it receives an application for a licence with authorisations (including for ‘making a market’) in relation to retail OTC derivatives, it will assess the application very carefully, particularly where ASIC has concerns that the responsible managers put forward do not meet the necessary requirements. ASIC also has concerns regarding misleading and deceptive conduct in providing information in statements of personal information and declarations in licensing applications and warned that it is open to ASIC to commence investigations which could result in criminal proceedings.
  6. Reference checking for financial advisers: ASIC has had concerns regarding the adequacy of reference checking of advisers in the context of poor advisers moving from licensee to licensee. ASIC strongly recommends robust reference checking of financial advisers. It referred to Standard Australia’s handbook ‘Reference checking in the financial services industry’ as guidance in carrying out reference checks on financial advisers (please click here for more information). It also referred to the Australian Bankers’ Association Reference Checking & Information Sharing Protocol applicable to licensees who subscribe to that Protocol (please click here for more information).
  7. Financial advisers register: ASIC reminded meeting participants that licensees need to provide ASIC with certain information about their financial advisers who provide personal advice to retail clients on relevant products (essentially financial products other than basic banking products, general insurance and CCI). ASIC will be contacting licensees who have not provided the required information. Further, licensees holding, but not using, a personal advice authorisation may wish to have this authorisation removed for the reasons mentioned above in relation to the new industry funding model.
  8. New licensees portal and application screens: ASIC will be updating its regulatory technology platform over the next 3 years. This will include a new licensees portal and a new licence application process aimed at collecting more information at the time of application, and reducing application processing times. The new system would see the end of paper lodgement, with all requisitions and other correspondence being made through the portal.
  9. Responsible manager capacity: ASIC has concerns regarding the number of licences an individual can be a responsible manager for. For example, ASIC said that if an individual with a full time job, who also acts as a responsible manager for hire on three other licences, was put forward as responsible manager for a further licence, it may consider that individual to be overloaded. It is possible that ASIC will release guidance on this point in the future.

Written by:


Dentons on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.