ASIC has today re-issued Information Sheet 157 Foreign financial services providers – practical guidance (INFO 157) for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) seeking to provide financial services only to wholesale clients in Australia.
FFSPs regulated by certain overseas regulators who wish to provide financial services to wholesale clients in Australia can rely on ‘class’ relief, provided certain conditions are met. To do so, they need to notify us that they wish to rely on this relief.
INFO 157 explains what an FFSP must do if it wishes to:
- rely on ‘class’ relief under an ASIC instrument, or
- apply for individual relief under Regulatory Guide 176 Foreign financial services providers (RG 176).
The ‘class’ relief available under these ASIC instruments is currently due to expire on 30 September 2019. Details of our proposals for regulation of FFSPs after 30 September 2019 are in Consultation Paper 268 Licensing relief for foreign financial services providers with a limited connection to Australia (CP 268) and Consultation Paper 301 Foreign financial services providers (CP 301). ASIC is currently reviewing RG 176 in light of our proposals.
Specifically, INFO 157 provides updated practical guidance about:
- the relief available for FFSPs under ASIC instruments
- how to apply for registration as a foreign company
- the documents you must lodge and fees you need to pay if you are applying to rely on relief
- notifications required under the relief
- how to apply for individual relief
- how to lodge forms and documents.
ASIC released CP 301 on 1 June 2018 following a review of the regulatory settings for FFSPs. Our proposals in CP 301 are to revoke the relief and introduce a modified licensing regime for FFSPs. The review identified some supervisory and regulatory concerns about the operation of the relief.
CP 301 also proposes a further transition period of 12 months to 30 September 2020 if ASIC proceeds with the modified licensing regime.