At the beginning of 2019, ASIC reviewed its Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) application process and as a result of this review, now requires all applicants to provide additional information in relation to their Responsible Officers. This new requirement ensures that entities looking to obtain an AFSL comply with s913B(3)(a)(i) of the Corporations Act i.e. there is no reason to believe that any of the Responsible Officers involved in the provision of financial services to clients are not of good fame or character.
What are the New Requirements?
ASIC has released a Pro Forma document which requires applicant entities to provide the full name of each Responsible Officer and a current police and bankruptcy check. As part of this Pro Forma document, a director of the applicant is required to attest that:
- each Responsible Officer has been named and that the applicant entity has no reason to believe the named Responsible Officers are not of good fame or character; and
- they are not aware of the Responsible Officer’s involvement in any misconduct.
Who is a Responsible Officer?
Section 9 of the Corporations Act defines a “Responsible Officer” as any person that will perform duties in connection with the applicant’s AFSL, should the AFSL be granted by ASIC.
Section 9 of the Corporations Act also defines “Officer” as:
- a director or secretary;
- any person who makes, or participates in making decisions that affect the whole, or a substantial part, of the applicant’s business, or who has the capacity to significantly affect the applicant’s financial standing; and
- any person in accordance with whose instructions or wishes the directors of the applicant re accustomed to act (excluding advice given by the person in the proper performance of functions attaching to the person’s professional capacity or their business relationship with the directors or the applicant).
Each applicant entity is now also required to provide the full name and residential address of each director and secretary as well as the applicant’s Australian Business Number (ABN). Previously, ASIC would obtain this information from ASIC Registers, however, ASIC now requires each applicant to provide the information as part of the AFSL application process.
The above requirements also apply to entities who currently have existing AFSL applications with ASIC for assessment.
Should you have any questions in relation to how this may affect your current or future AFSL Application, please contact us.