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 January and 31 May 2007.
The report, Overview of decisions on relief applications (January to May 2007), 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.
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. The appendix now also contains hyperlinks to the relevant ASIC Gazette where those instruments have been published.
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, which is available from the ASIC website at http://www.asic.gov.au/gazettes.
Applying for relief
Applications for relief must be in writing and should address the requirements set out in Regulatory Guide [RG 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
Information on applying for corporate finance relief is available at http://www.asic.gov.au/cfrelief
ASIC has published previous information releases on its relief decisions including:
Information Release [IR07/17] ASIC issues report on relief applications – October to December 2006(15 May 2007);
Information Release [IR 07/01] ASIC issues report on relief applications – July to September 2006 (18 January 2007);
Information Release [IR 06/33] ASIC issues report on relief applications decided between April to June 2006 (29 September 2006); and
Information Release [IR 06/27] ASIC report on relief applications expands to include corporate finance applications (25 July 2006).