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ASIC releases CCIV guidelines

ASIC has released long-awaited regulatory guidelines relating to the registration and licensing requirements for Corporate Collective Investment Vehicles ahead of its July 1 implementation date.

The information sheet (INFO 272) and report (REP 728) help shed light on how to register a CCIV and sub-fund.

The regulator said first corporate directors will need to meet its requirements, and further stated that the company must be limited by shares; the sole director must be a public company that holds an Australian financial services licence (AFS) authorising operation; and the company must have at least one sub-fund to register and the sub-fund must have one member.

Further, notice must be given on the application if the company intends to be a retail or wholesale; retail companies must have a compliance plan and auditor before it can be registered.

The report highlighted key issues that arose from the submissions received on consultation (CP 360) and ASIC's responses to those issues.

ASIC said respondents generally supported its proposals for the licensing of corporate directors to operate a CCIV.

It stated the main issues raised related to "Australian financial services (AFS) licence or variation applications for corporate directors, insurance arrangements for corporate directors, and financial resource requirements for licensees that are corporate directors and responsible entities".

ASIC said it will now accept re-lodgment of certain proof documents and acknowledged that some AFS licensees with an interest in operating CCIVs may have been recently assessed for a new or varied licence.

"In light of this, we will accept re-lodgement of a previously prepared B1 Organisational Competence proof that covers the nominated responsible manager's competence in operating registered or unregistered managed investment schemes of the same asset type as proposed to be held by the CCIV," the report stated.

"We will also accept re-lodgement of 'fit and proper persons' documentation that has been provided to ASIC since 18 February 2020 for responsible managers and officers of the responsible entity."

Despite this amendment, the corporate watchdog said it will still exercise scrutiny even if the applicant already has an AFS licence.

The report further stated that ASIC will prioritise AFS licence applications from prospective corporate directors for an initial period of, at least, the first six months and it will not impose a limit of a single sub-fund on corporate directors of wholesale CCIVs.

ASIC deputy chair Karen Chester said: "We are committed to supporting the implementation of the new CCIVs regime. Going forward, ASIC will be responsible for licensing corporate directors and registering CCIVs. Our new and updated guidance will assist corporate directors to comply with their licensee obligations and other requirements under the Corporations Act."

ASIC will update its key regulatory guidelines and release new legislative instrument to further support corporate directors while continuing to assess other regulatory guides related to the CCIV regime.

Read more: ASICAFSCorporate Collective Investment VehiclesKaren Chester