The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released an update report outlining its decisions on recent relief applications made by financial service providers. The applications relate to relief from the licensing, conduct, disclosure and managed investments provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 (the Act).
ASIC is vested with discretionary powers under the Act to grant relief, by exemption or modification, from provisions of Chapter 5C and Chapter 7 of the Act. The report covers the period from 1 January to 30 April 2005 and provides specific examples of circumstances in which ASIC has either exercised, or refused to exercise, those powers.
‘This is the third formal report on relief decisions that ASIC has released since December 2004. The reports make the way we apply our policy in practice transparent by providing some insight into the factors that guide us in the exercise of our discretionary powers,’ ASIC’s Director, Regulation, Mr John Price said.
‘ASIC provides these reports on a regular basis to update participants in the financial services industry, and their legal advisers, about the ongoing development of our policy,’ Mr Price said.
The report also outlines some instances where ASIC decided to take a no-action position regarding non-compliance with provisions of Chapters 5C and 7. The report includes an appendix detailing the relief instruments ASIC has executed for the matters referred to in the report. For ease of reference, the appendix contains cross-references linking the instruments to the relevant paragraph(s) of the report.
The criteria that ASIC will apply in considering applications for relief from provisions of Chapters 5C and 7 are outlined in:
Information Release [IR 03-29] ASIC issues additional guidance for FSR relief applicant;
Policy Statement 136 Managed investments: Discretionary powers and closely related schemes [PS 136];
Policy Statement 167 Licensing: Discretionary powers and transition [PS 167];
Policy Statement 169 Disclosure: Discretionary powers and transition [PS 169];
Policy Statement 176 Licensing: Discretionary powers – wholesale foreign financial services providers [PS 176];
Policy Statement 178 Foreign collective investment schemes [PS 178]; and
Policy Statement 182 Dollar disclosure [PS 182].
ASIC is required to publish a copy of each exemption and/or modification instrument it issues in the ASIC Gazette, available from the ASIC website atwww.asic.gov.au.
Copies of ASIC’s policy statements, information releases and class orders are available from the same web address or by calling ASIC’s Infoline on 1300 300 630.
Applications for relief must be in writing and should address the requirements set out in Policy Statement 51 Applications for relief [PS 51].
Applications can be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on applying for relief is available at www.asic.gov.au/fsrrelief.
ASIC has published previous information releases on its relief decisions including:
Information Release [IR 05-21] ASIC issues update report on relief applications from financial service providers (11 May 2005);
Information Release [IR 04-72] ASIC issues reports on recent relief applications from financial service providers (21 December 2004); and
Information Release [IR 03-31] ASIC provides overview of applications for relief under FSRA (10 October 2003).
End of release