Licensing and professional registration activities: 2021 update

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ASIC’s Licensing and professional registration activities: 2021 update (Report 700) outlines key issues, new and proposed changes to our licensing processes, and other work we have undertaken that affects licensees.

Between July 2020 and June 2021, ASIC received 1,883 Australian financial services licence (AFSL) and Australian credit licence (ACL) applications (a significant increase from 1,346 the previous year). The increase was mainly due to the licensing reforms relating to insurance claims handling and debt management services.

ASIC approved 458 new AFSLs and ACLs (compared to 394 last year). ASIC also approved 537 variation applications by existing licensees (the same as last year).

As part of our licence assessments, and in addition to granting or not granting licences, we achieved other regulatory outcomes including removing or adding authorisations and imposing additional conditions on licence and auditor applicants.

ASIC Chief Operating Officer Warren Day said the report outlines our important function to ensure licence and auditor applicants are fit and proper, competent, and appropriately licensed or registered for their business activities.

‘This is to ensure that the quality of participants and their businesses providing financial services or auditing services have satisfied the statutory requirements,’ Mr Day said.

‘In 2020-21, ASIC implemented reforms requiring litigation funding scheme operators, insurance claims handling services and debt management services firms to be licensed.’

‘Importantly, the report acknowledges the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and our continued flexibility during these times.’

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Report 700 Licensing and professional registration activities: 2021 update

Background

ASIC’s licensing report is released annually to increase transparency and to provide guidance to licensees, registrants and prospective applicants about ASIC’s licensing and professional registration decision making, outlines factors ASIC considers when reviewing an application, why certain information is required, and what factors may increase the time taken to assess an application.

In addition to AFS and credit licence approvals, 391 AFS and ACL applications were withdrawn or rejected for lodgement, one was refused, 563 licences were cancelled and 23 suspended.

ASIC also approved the registration of 96 company auditors, 59 SMSF auditors and registered 31 liquidators approved by the liquidator registration committee. In the same period, 29 professional registration applications were withdrawn and 11 were refused.

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