The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) reported 1211 applications for limited Australian financial services licences (AFSL) were received between July 2016 and June 2017.
The regulator’s “Report 553 Overview of licensing and professional registration applications: July 2016 to June 2017” (REP 553) found of these 1211 applications, 799 were approved, 150 were withdrawn, 225 were not accepted for lodgement, one application was refused and 36 were pending.
When it came to SMSF auditors, REP 553 said 79 were approved, an additional 62 applications were withdrawn, the registrations of 406 SMSF auditors were cancelled, and one application was refused.
Furthermore, the number of approved SMSF auditors continued to fall in the period, after an initial growth spike in mid-2014.
ASIC acting chairman Peter Kell said: “ASIC’s licensing and professional registration functions play an important role in ensuring applicants meet minimum standards to perform an activity.
“We are committed to protecting consumers by appropriate scrutiny of licence applications.”
The report said the number of AFSLs increased significantly during the relevant period as a result of a large number of limited licence applications being lodged in the lead up to the end of the transitional period on 30 June 2016, and the finalisation of those assessments that flowed through into the relevant period.
ASIC said that the regular publication of these reports was intended to provide greater transparency about its regulatory activities and information about volume and outcomes from its licensing and registration assessments.