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10-242AD ASIC issues report on relief decisions
ASIC has released a report outlining decisions on relief applications during the period 1 December 2009 to 31 May 2010, which aims to improve the level of transparency and the quality of information available about decisions ASIC makes when asked to exercise discretionary powers to grant relief from provisions of the Corporations Act, National Credit Act or the Transitional Act.
The report, Overview of decisions on relief applications (December 2009 to May 2010) (REP 217) summarises situations where ASIC has exercised, or refused to exercise, its exemption and modification powers under the Corporations Act 2001 (the Corporations Act), the licensing and responsible lending provisions of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act) and the registration provisions of Schedule 2 of the National Consumer Credit Protection (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Act 2009 (Transitional Act).
The report provides examples of decisions that demonstrate how ASIC has applied ASIC policy in practice and will be of particular interest for participants in the capital markets and financial services industry.
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 we can facilitate businesses without harming other stakeholders.
REP 217 also highlights instances where ASIC has decided to adopt a no-action position regarding specified non-compliance with statutory provisions, and features an appendix detailing the relief instruments it executed.
REP 217 is available from the ASIC website or by calling ASIC’s Infoline on 1300 300 630.
ASIC can exempt or modify the Corporations 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 Corporations Act.
ASIC also has powers to give relief under the National Credit Act from the licensing provisions under Chapter 2 and the responsible lending conduct provisions under Chapter 3. ASIC has powers to give relief from the registration provisions under Schedule 2 of the Transitional Act.
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.
Applying for relief
Applications for relief must be in writing and should address the requirements set out in Regulatory Guide 51 Applications for relief (RG 51). Applications can be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information on applying for financial services relief
More information on applying for corporate finance relief