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Thursday 28 February 2019

19-045MR ASIC reports on licensing and professional registrations 2017-2018

ASIC’s latest report on its assessment of licensing and professional registration applications (excluding applications to be registered as a liquidator) shows that less than half of the 2,879 applications considered during July 2017 to June 2018 were approved.

Mr Warren Day, Executive Director, Assessment & Intelligence said, 'ASIC's Licensing function provides the first gateway to ensuring applicants seeking an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or Australian credit licence (ACL), and auditor-related professional registration meet minimum standards to offer regulated services. We help protect consumers by ensuring an appropriate level of scrutiny is applied to these applications’.

During 2017-18, 12 AFS licences and 12 credit licenses were suspended and approximately 15 per cent of the 191 AFS licences and 319 credit licences were cancelled at the initiation of ASIC.

ASIC’s report provides useful insights about the regulatory and policy issues that impact ASIC’s licensing and registration application related activities, including key reforms and administrative refusals by ASIC Hearings Delegates and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).

Mr Day said, ‘We encourage prospective applicants, and licensees intending to apply for variations, to review this report to better inform their applications and understand the regulatory context when applying.

‘ASIC’s licensing and registration functions are also being enhanced with a new Licensing application portal being developed. While there have been some delays, we expect the portal will ultimately deliver efficiencies by ensuring that we ask for, and are given, all and only, the relevant information required to make the right regulatory decision to grant or not grant a licence or registration’, Mr Day said.

In 2017-2018, ASIC considered approximately 2,879 applications, with 60 per cent relating to AFS licence applications, 29 per cent  relating to ACL applications and the remaining 11 per cent relating to professional auditor registrations.

Of the 2,879 total applications, 48 per cent (1,383) were approved, with 62 per cent of those applications approved in a form other than applied for by the applicant. Of the 1,383 approvals, 44 per cent were AFS licence approvals and 52 per cent were credit licence approvals.

ASIC assessed 329 applications for professional registration of auditors, of which 59 per cent were approved (comprising four per cent of all approvals).

A copy of Report 611 Overview of licensing and professional registration applications: July 2017 to June 2018 (REP 611) is available here

Background

REP 611 provides an overview of ASIC's activity and oversight in relation to applications for Australian financial services (AFS) licences, Australian credit licences (ACL), liquidator registrations, company auditor and approved SMSF auditor registrations, financial markets, clearing and settlement (CS) facilities, and derivative trade repositories.

The annual publication of these reports is intended to provide greater transparency about our regulatory activities and information about volume and outcomes from our licensing and registration assessments.

Editor's note:

The media release was updated on 28 February 2019 to clarify that ASIC's assessment of professional applications does not include liquidator registrations.

Last updated: 28/02/2019 12:00