Applying to be a crowd-sourced funding intermediary
ASIC began accepting applications from potential crowd-sourced funding (CSF) intermediaries for Australian financial services (AFS) licence authorisations to provide a crowd-funding service after 11 am on 29 September 2017.
Applications can be submitted via the existing ASIC electronic 'eLicensing' portal.
In order to enable companies to access the benefits of the new CSF regime, ASIC must first license suitable intermediaries to provide crowd-funding services.
ASIC's approach to CSF intermediary licence applications
ASIC is conscious of the commercial and competitive implications of the timing of its decisions to grant CSF authorisations. In order to ensure that ASIC’s initial assessments are as fair and equitable as possible to all applicants and to facilitate an orderly entry into the market, ASIC's Licensing team will seek to coordinate the timing of the assessment and determination of all early-stage CSF intermediary applications in accordance with the following general principles:
Applications lodged between 29 September 2017 and 27 October 2017
ASIC considered CSF applications in batches in conjunction with other CSF applications lodged during this period that we considered having the prospect of being positively assessed within a similar timeframe. We progressed the applications within each relevant batch to conclusion at broadly the same time.
Applications which were lodged later in the period, were incomplete, inadequate or did not contain mandatory information and supporting proof documentation may have been refused for lodgement or placed in batches for decision after batches of applications that were lodged earlier and were complete.
Applications lodged after 27 October 2017
Applications were progressed, and will continue to be progressed, as soon as possible.
Note: Applicants should be aware that, in many cases, the assessment of applications can depend on matters beyond the control of ASIC or an applicant, including the time taken to conduct standard intelligence checks and probity (good fame and character) validations with external organisations and, where relevant, international regulators.
The approach outlined is indicative only and ASIC reserves its right to alter its approach where it is considered necessary to ensure ASIC’s licensing operations are conducted as efficiently as possible.
These arrangements relate only to applications for AFS licence authorisations and do not apply in connection with applications for Australian market licences. CSF intermediaries or other entities seeking to offer secondary trading would typically require an Australian market licence – see Regulatory Guide 172 Financial markets: Domestic and overseas operators (RG 172).
ASIC also reminds applicants that it will only discuss issues relating to particular applications with the individual applicants themselves.
Further, while ASIC will be considering applications from CSF intermediaries as a matter of priority, applicants should be aware that the timing of ASIC’s assessment of any particular application may be impacted by a variety of matters and should be considered in the context of general processing times for AFS licences which may take some months.
Information required for CSF authorisations
In order to expedite our assessment of CSF applications applicants will need to include the following CSF-specific information in their application, in addition to the standard documentation ASIC requires for all licence applications (see Regulatory Guides 1, 2 and 3):
- answers to the C11 questions
- the information set out in the additional C11 proof
- B5 Adequacy of resources (additional non-core proof documents) – Information Technology Capacity Statement.
During our assessment we may requisition further responses or documentation.
Applicants should refer to the guidance set out in Regulatory Guide 262 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for intermediaries (RG 262) in preparing their applications.
Inquiries relevant to the licensing process for CSF intermediaries should be sent to the dedicated crowd-funding service email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- RG 1 AFS Licensing Kit: Part 1 – Applying for and varying an AFS licence
- RG 2 AFS Licensing Kit: Part 2 – Preparing your AFS licence or variation application
- RG 3 AFS Licensing Kit: Part 3 – Preparing your additional proofs
- RG 104 Licensing: Meeting the general obligations
- RG 105 Licensing: Organisational competence
- RG 126 Compensation and insurance arrangements for AFS licensees
- RG 165 Licensing: Internal and external dispute resolution
- RG 166 Licensing: Financial requirements
- RG 181 Licensing: Managing conflicts of interest
- RG 261 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for companies
- RG 262 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for intermediaries