ASIC has released a report outlining its recent decisions on applications for relief from the corporate finance, financial services and managed investment provisions of the Corporations Act (the Act) between 1 April and 30 June 2006.
The report, Overview of decisions on relief applications (April to June 2006), provides an overview of situations where ASIC has exercised, or refused to exercise, its exemption and modification powers, from the financial reporting, managed investment, takeovers, fundraising and financial services provisions of the Act.
‘ASIC has been releasing reports outlining its significant relief decisions relating to financial products and services since December 2004 and financial reporting, takeovers and fundraising provisions since January 2006’, ASIC’s Director of Regulation, Mr John Price said.
‘The report aims to provide participants in the capital markets and financial services industry with an up-to-date view of our operational policy and some of the factors that influence us in our decisions about whether or not to exercise our discretionary powers’, Mr Price said.
The report also highlights instances where ASIC decided to adopt a no-action position regarding specified non-compliance with the provisions, and features an appendix detailing the relief instruments it executed. For ease of reference, the appendix contains cross-references linking the instruments to the relevant paragraph(s) of the report.
ASIC is vested with powers to exempt or modify the Act under the provisions of Chapters 2D (officers and employees), 2J (share buy-backs), 2L (debentures), 2M (financial reporting and audit), 5C (managed investment schemes), 6 (takeovers), 6A (compulsory acquisitions and buy-outs), 6C (information about ownership of entities), 6D (fundraising) and 7 (financial services) of the Act.
ASIC uses its discretion to vary or set aside certain requirements of the law, where the burden of complying with the law significantly detracts from its overall benefit, or where business can be facilitated without harming other stakeholders.
ASIC publishes a copy of most of the exemption and/or modification instruments issued in the ASIC Gazette.
Applying for relief
Applications for relief must be in writing and should address the requirements set out in Policy Statement 51 [PS 51] Applications for relief.
Applications can be submitted electronically to email@example.com.
More information on applying for financial services relief is available at www.asic.gov.au/fsrrelief.
ASIC has published previous information releases on its relief decisions including:
Information Release [IR 06/27] ASIC report on relief applications expands to include corporate finance applications (25 July 2006);
Information Release [IR 06/10] Latest ASIC report on financial services providers' relief applications(10 April 2006); and
Information Release [IR 05/65] ASIC issues latest report on relief applications from financial services providers (21 December 2005).