ASIC approved 578 new licenses in 2021/22 season

Rick Steves

“The report outlines our important licence assessment work and gatekeeping role to maintain high standards in the financial services and credit industries.”

In its latest annual licensing report, Australia’s financial watchdog ASIC announced it approved 578 new licences (26% more than last year) in the period between July 2021 and June 2022.

In the same period 416 licence applications were withdrawn or rejected for lodgement, 558 licences were cancelled and 12 licences were suspended. In addition, 21 professional registration applications were withdrawn and 11 were refused.

ASIC received 1,469 AFS and credit license applications

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission announced it:

  • received 1,469 Australian financial services (AFS) and Australian credit licence (licences) applications;
  • finalised 1,859 licence applications (35% more than last year);
  • approved 578 new licences (26% more than last year);
  • approved 867 licence variation applications from existing licensees (61% more than last year); and
  • approved the registration of 89 company auditors, 40 SMSF auditors and note that the liquidator registration committee approved the registration of 21 liquidators.

ASIC Commissioner Danielle Press said: “The report outlines our important licence assessment work and gatekeeping role to maintain high standards in the financial services and credit industries. Our gatekeeping role is highlighted by our assessment of debt management firm licence applications. Fourteen debt management firm applicants withdrew their applications following questions and concerns raised by ASIC during assessment. This was at a rate nearly three times higher than a typical credit licensing application.”

ASIC licesnsing function constrained by limited resourcing and technology

The Financial Regulator Assessment Authority (FRAA) completed its first review of ASIC, which included an assessment of ASIC’s licensing function.

The FRAA’s overall assessment is that ASIC’s licensing function is broadly effective, and the licensing team is capable, although somewhat constrained by limited resourcing and technology.

“We are implementing changes to update our licensing portal to make it easier and more efficient for applicants to apply for a licence. We are also making changes to how we interact with licensees to enhance our engagement with and responsiveness to applicants”, Danielle Press added.

The Australian regulator’s licensing report outlines factors ASIC considers when reviewing an application, why certain information is required, and factors that may increase the time taken to assess an application.

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