AFSL Ongoing Compliance Solutions

Australian Financial Services Licence (“AFSL“) holders have a variety of obligations which must be documented and adhered to in order to ensure compliance with the law. Many of these obligations can be often overlooked during the course of running a business.

AFSL Compliance Requirements

  • Implement a compliance program – Sophie Grace can prepare all of the required compliance documents and help you keep them up to date. Our compliance program includes a compliance calendar of obligations to ensure you don’t miss any important dates.
  • Ensure your compliance documents are up to date – many changes can impact whether your compliance documents are current, including changes to your business and changes to the law. AFSL holders must review their compliance documents on a regular basis to ensure they remain current and adequately reflect your business. Sophie Grace can assist by completing a compliance review to assess the status of your current documents and make updates where required.
  • Implement regular Compliance Committee meetings – the Compliance Committee should comprise of a group of people within your organisation who have responsibility for the AFSL’s functions – including the Directors and Responsible Managers on the AFSL. The Compliance Committee should meet on a regular basis to discuss the compliance obligations of the AFSL and whether they have been met.
  • Appoint a Compliance Officer – there should be someone within your business who is responsible for compliance. The Compliance Officer should have the appropriate level of seniority and competence to complete this role.
  • Track and record complaints – AFSL holders must have adequate internal dispute resolution procedures to ensure complaints are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner. Sophie Grace can assist in implementing and documenting the appropriate procedures.
  • AFSL holders who provide financial services to retail clients need to become a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), the ASIC approved External Resolution Dispute Scheme (EDRS).
  • Record your conflicts of interest – identifying conflicts of interest and recording them in a register is an important step in managing conflicts. Sophie Grace has a template register which is part of our suite of compliance documents available for purchase.
  • Review your marketing material – most AFSL holders issue marketing or promotional material as part of their business operations. All material should be in line with ASIC’s guidelines and relevant legislation. Sophie Grace can assist AFSL holders to meet their obligations by reviewing marketing material before it is released.
  • Complete CPD training – Responsible Managers and representatives involved in the provision of financial services to clients must ensure they complete the required CPD points every year.
  • Update your training registers – all training completed by Responsible Managers and other representatives should be recorded in a training register. Sophie Grace has a template register which is part of our suite of compliance documents available for purchase.
  • Provide ongoing training for all representatives – all representatives should receive training in the legislative and compliance obligations of the AFSL holder.
  • Complete your AFSL Audit – Sophie Grace can assist AFSL holders organise the documentation required for their AFSL Audit to ensure it is completed and lodged on time.
  • Monitor service providers – most AFSL holders outsource a number of functions and these service providers should be monitored and reviewed for their performance on a regular basis. Sophie Grace can assist AFSL holders to implement a formal system for monitoring service providers.
  • Manage risk – AFSL holders are required to have adequate resources and risk management systems in place. Sophie Grace can assist AFSL holders to implement and document appropriate risk management procedures.
  • Industry Funding Levy Submit to ASIC the organisation’s business activity metrics. From these metrics, ASIC will be able to calculate the payable fee for each organisation for the previous financial year.
  • Document breaches – Sophie Grace can assist AFSL holders to document their breach reporting policies and ensure breaches are identified and rectified in a timely manner.
  • Have adequate compensation arrangements – AFSL holders who provide financial services to retail clients need to hold Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance.
  • Monitor financial resources – AFSL holders should review their financial resources on at least a quarterly basis to ensure the business is complying with the relevant requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 166.
  • Record Keeping Obligations for personal advice AFSLs – ASIC requires AFS Licensees that provide personal advice to keep record for up to seven (7) years after the day advice was provided to their clients.

How can Sophie Grace Assist you?

Compliance obligations must be constantly satisfied, whether on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. With this in mind, Sophie Grace can provide your business with ongoing compliance solutions. Our tailored solutions include but are not limited to:

  • conducting regular review and updating compliance policies and registers;
  • creation of a compliance calendar to appropriately distribute the compliance workload to responsible persons and make it easier to meet obligations;
  • lodging statutory forms and reports to regulators as required;
  • responding to all ad hoc compliance queries and issues;
  • responding to compliance questions and issues;
  • review of client files limited to a review of disclosure and Know Your Customer (“KYC”) obligations;
  • liaising with internal compliance personnel and assisting with responses to regulator queries; and
  • conducting marketing reviews for any marketing material to be released.

Sophie Grace can provide ongoing compliance support in relation to the following:

  • compliance plans and management framework;
  • compliance reporting;
  • Compliance Committee membership;
  • Compliance procedures and policy documents;
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) and AUSTRAC;
  • Corporate Governance;
  • compliance counsel;
  • risk management systems;
  • conflicts management systems;
  • external compliance audits;
  • Privacy Act;
  • ASIC regulations and guidance;
  • Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics implementation;
  • disclosure;
  • conflicts of interest;
  • breaches and incidents;
  • insurance; and
  • outsourcing.

Sophie Grace also has a range of compliance program and document templates that can be purchased via our online shop. These documents can assist you in ensuring your compliance obligations are met, should you wish to take a more hands-on approach.

For further information regarding your ongoing obligations as an AFSL holder, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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