On 21 September 2018, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) issued an announcement affecting foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) that rely on “passport” class order relief or on “limited connection” relief from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services licence in order to provide financial services in Australia to wholesale clients. ASIC has extended the operation of these relief instruments (which were due to expire in late September 2018) to 30 September 2019.
Earlier this year, ASIC conducted a consultation on a proposed modified licensing regime for FFSPs carrying on a financial services business in Australia (see our previous insight here). During the consultation period, ASIC received 36 submissions in response to the proposal.
In order to provide ASIC with sufficient time to review the consultation submissions and engage further with industry participants, it has extended the operation of the following instruments to 30 September 2019:
- ASIC Corporations (Repeal and Transitional) Instrument 2016/396 and ASIC Corporations (CSSF-Regulated Financial Services Providers) Instrument 2016/1109, which relate to FFSPs providing financial services on the basis that their home regulatory regime has been assessed by ASIC as having a licensing regime that is sufficiently equivalent to Australia’s regime; and
- ASIC Corporations (Foreign Financial Services Providers—Limited Connection) Instrument 2017/182, which relates to FFSPs providing financial services that are limited to inducing wholesale clients to use the provider’s financial services.
ASIC has also proposed a further 12 month transition period of the relief instruments to 30 September 2020 if the modified licensing regime is implemented.