ASIC reports on licensing and professional registrations 2017-2018

ASIC’s latest report on its assessment of licensing and professional registration applications shows that less than half of the 2,879 applications considered during July 2017 to June 2018 were approved.

Warren Day, Executive Director, Assessment & Intelligence said, “ASIC’s Licensing function provides the first gateway to ensuring applicants seeking an Australian financial services (AFS) licence or Australian credit licence (ACL), and auditor-related professional registration meet minimum standards to offer regulated services. We help protect consumers by ensuring an appropriate level of scrutiny is applied to these applications”.

During 2017-18, 12 AFS licences and 12 credit licenses were suspended and approximately 15 per cent of the 191 AFS licences and 319 credit licences were cancelled at the initiation of ASIC.

Day said, “We encourage prospective applicants, and licensees intending to apply for variations, to review this report to better inform their applications and understand the regulatory context when applying.”

Overall, excluding the limited AFS licence applications in the past two financial years, the average annual rate of increase in the number of AFS licensees remains around 2.6 per cent, from the end of the AFS licensing transition period in March 2004. With limited AFS licensees included, the average annual rate of increase rises to 3.4 per cent.

“ASIC’s licensing and registration functions are also being enhanced with a new licensing application portal being developed. 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”, he said.

In 2017-2018, ASIC considered approximately 2,879 applications, with 60 per cent relating to AFS licence applications, 29 per cent  relating to ACL applications and the remaining 11 per cent relating to professional auditor registrations.

Of the 2,879 total applications, 48 per cent (1,383) were approved, with 62 per cent of those applications approved in a form other than applied for by the applicant. Of the 1,383 approvals, 44 per cent were AFS licence approvals and 52 per cent were credit licence approvals.