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Last minute rush for licences

The latest Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) report has revealed the regulator witnessed a late rush of limited Australian financial services licence (AFSL) applications.

Report 503 “Overview of licensing and professional registration applications: Jan to Jun 2016” documented the outcomes ASIC achieved in recent times regarding AFSL, credit licence, company auditor registration, specialist SMSF auditor registration, and liquidator registration applications.

It showed 40 per cent of applications submitted in response to end of the three-year limited licence transition arrangements on 30 June this year were received by ASIC in June.

As a result the regulator has advised limited AFSL applicants to expect delays in their licensing assessment and potential approval.

The statistics come after ASIC had earlier revealed the overall response to the new licensing regime for the entire transitional period from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016.

During this time 1146 applications were received for limited AFSLs with 317 licenses or draft licenses having been granted.

A further 264 applications were withdrawn or returned due to incomplete, missing or deficient information.

Another two applications were referred to an ASIC Hearing’s Delegate with a recommendation they be refused.

At 30 June 2016 the number of applications pending assessment was 582.

“The provision of unlicensed or unauthorised financial services in relation financial products including self-managed superannuation funds is a criminal offence and significant penalties apply,” ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell warned at the time.

“Accountants and other advisers who have not had their application for a limited AFSL approved by ASIC need to implement contingencies until such time as their applications have been approved by ASIC.”

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