Of the 1728 new Australian Financial Services Licence applications ASIC considered last financial year, 758 were approved. Close to 200 AFSLs were cancelled in the same period.
Latest statistics from ASIC show that of the 758 approvals, 303 comprised of new licences and 455 were licence variations. However, 59% were done so following alterations to the original application.
About 202 applications were withdrawn, 196 were rejected for lodgement, and 561 were carried over into the current financial year. ASIC also refused 11 applications.
The regulator said it expects this refusal number would have been much higher if fewer applications had been withdrawn. During the same period, 12 AFSLs were suspended and 191 were cancelled.
ASIC executive director, assessment and intelligence, Warren Day said: "ASIC's licensing function provides the first gateway to ensuring applicants seeking an AFSL...meet minimum standards to offer regulated services."
"We help protect consumers by ensuring an appropriate level of scrutiny is applied to these applications."
Day also encouraged prospective applicants and licensees intending to apply for variations to consider the regulatory environment in doing so.
"ASIC's licensing and registration functions are also being enhanced with a new licensing application portal being developed," he said.
"While there have been some delays, we expect the portal will ultimately deliver efficiencies by ensuring that we ask for, and are given, all and only, the relevant information required to make the right regulatory decision to grant or not grant a licence or registration."