ASIC has announced changes to its service charter causing further delays to licence approval. The service charter details the timeframes you can expect for ASIC to respond to your correspondence, including the expected timeframes for the finalisation of AFSL and ACL applications.

The changes, which came into effect on 28 November 2017, relate to ASIC’s finalisation of AFSL and ACL applications.

Under the new service charter, target timeframes for assessing AFSL and ACL applications have increased. The new target timeframes are as follows:

  • ASIC will aim to make a decision within 150 days of receiving a complete application in at least 70% of cases (previously 60 days); and
  • ASIC will aim to make a decision within 240 days of receiving a complete application in at least 90%of cases (previously 120 days).

Please note, these timeframes refer to complete applications only and further delays will be incurred where additional information is requested to be provided to ASIC or complex issues are raised.

ASIC has stated that it will aim to make decisions within the timeframes specified above on the basis of receipt of complete applications. At this stage, it is unclear whether a complete application means upon receipt of all initial application documents and the application is accepted for lodgement or whether it refers to the date ASIC has no further requisitions and advises that a final decision on the application is ready to be made.

ASIC has attributed this increase in target timeframes to its commitment to ensuring a thorough assessment of all licence applications in the interests of protecting consumers. This change is also an attempt to manage consumer expectations.  Unfortunately, the changing of the service charter will not alleviate any frustration experienced by the industry for extensive delays in licensing assessment.

ASIC’s new service charter can be found here. It applies to applications currently under assessment by ASIC and all new applications received.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.

Sarah Murray

Sarah works with the Compliance Team with a particular focus on compliance and legal services. Sarah also works with the Legal Team providing ongoing assistance in drafting and reviewing documentation as well as legal research. Sarah assists clients with AFSL and ACL applications, variations and also assists in the implementation of compliance reviews. She provides ongoing compliance support in the form of compliance program implementation and reviews.