When making an application to ASIC to become a Responsible Manager on a new or existing Australian Financial Services Licence (“AFSL”), all applicants must answer a question relating to the average number of days the Responsible Manager expects to spend on duties related to the provision of financial services. Most applicants answer this question based on the expected workload of the Responsible Manager at a particular point in time i.e. when the Responsible Manager application is made to ASIC. However as the AFSL holder’s business progresses, this workload often changes and ASIC is required to be notified to ASIC.
AFSL holders have an obligation to advise ASIC of any changes to its details, including changes to its Responsible Manager time commitments, with ten (10) business days of the change through submission of the ASIC Form FS20.
Many AFSL holders also generally have compliance policies and procedures in place detailing how frequently the business reviews its organisational competency and human resources requirements. When conducting this review, AFSL holders should consider whether an ASIC Form FS20 needs to be submitted to ASIC advising of any change to the average number of days the Responsible Manager spends on duties related to the provision of financial services.
Providing updated information to ASIC when the duties and responsibilities of a Responsible Manager change is important to ASIC when reviewing and making an assessment as to the organisational competency of the AFSL holder.
Although it may seem like a trivial update, ensuring the accuracy of Responsible Manager information can also be important should the AFSL holder be undergoing an AFSL variation or find itself being investigated by ASIC. Where other instances of inconsistent information are uncovered by ASIC, ASIC may form the view that the AFSL holder has inadequate compliance procedures to ensure it maintains and complies with the compliance arrangements attached to its AFSL. Notifying ASIC of changes to a Responsible Manager’s time commitments to the AFSL is a simple step which can eliminate any unnecessary scrutiny from ASIC down the line.
Late lodgement of the Form FS20 will attract late fees. The continual failure to lodge ASIC Forms within the required timeframe can result in a significant breach of the AFSL holder’s compliance obligations. AFSL holders should review each of their Responsible Manager’s details with ASIC in light of the Responsible Manager’s commitments to the business and update the details as necessary.
Sophie Grace can assist you with the preparation and lodgement of any ASIC Forms. Please contact us for assistance.