ASIC boosts AFSL application requirements

ASIC has altered the procedure it uses to assess Australian Financial Services Licence applicants, with many now required to provide more historic information to the corporate regulator.

ASIC released information sheet 240 to help guide for AFSLs affected by the change, which includes APRA regulated bodies (such as superannuation funds) and applicants proposing to offer "certain" financial services or to operate in specific circumstances.

For applicants intending to be APRA-regulated bodies, the corporate regulator is set to require responsible managers provide both national criminal history and bankruptcy checks which are no more than 12 months old, and two business references of the same age.

Financial advisers will also be impacted, with ASIC set to request non-core proofs of compliance arrangements, programs for monitoring supervision and training of representatives and a risk management statement.

Life insurers and life insurance underwriters will need to provide the corporate regulator with a life insurance capacity statement and underwriting agency capacity statement respectively.

ASIC said the change will help determine whether it has reason to believe an applicant is likely to contravene its legislative obligations, including to deliver financial services "efficiently, honestly and fairly" and to ensure the good character of the responsible officers of a body corporate applicant.

The regulator's executive director of assessment and intelligence, Warren Day said the new process would ensure applications were not subject to delays in the future.

"ASIC has reviewed the AFS licence assessment processes and has streamlined its assessment processes in some limited respects," Day said.

"This is designed to avoid unnecessary delays that may arise when ASIC seeks additional information during an assessment."

Read more: ASICAFSAPRAAustralian Financial Services LicenceWarren Day
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