Sophie Grace can complete the relevant Australian Securities and Investments Commission (“ASIC“) forms including the application form, through ASIC’s online portal for your Australian Credit Licence (“ACL“).
ACL Application Process
Sophie Grace will prepare the following core proof documents that are required to accompany the application:
- Business description (so that ASIC can understand how your business works, including the types of credit activities you propose to engage in under the credit licence).
- Fit and proper people information (in relation to people who are involved in the management of your credit business. You will also be asked to identify your responsible managers).
After the submission of an application, ASIC often requires further information to accompany the application. Sophie Grace will assist in preparing this additional information and liaise with ASIC as required.
Should ASIC approve your credit licence application, you will be provided with a Credit Licence number (if you hold an AFSL, this will be the same as your AFSL number) and your credit licence outlining your licence conditions.
As an ACL holder, you must comply with the requirements set by ASIC which aim to ensure that you operate your credit business effectively and efficiently. These obligations include:
- 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. ACL 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 ACL’s functions – including the Directors and Responsible Managers on the ACL. The Compliance Committee should meet on a regular basis to discuss the compliance obligations of the ACL 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 – ACL 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.
- Becoming 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 ACL 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 ACL 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 credit 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 ACL holder.
- Complete your Annual Compliance Certificate – Sophie Grace can assist ACL holders complete their Annual Compliance Certificate to ensure it is completed accurately and lodged on time.
- Monitor Service Providers – most ACL 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 ACL holders to implement a formal system for monitoring service providers.
- Manage Risk – ACL holders are required to have adequate resources and risk management systems in place. Sophie Grace can assist ACL holders to implement and document appropriate risk management procedures.
- Document Breaches – Sophie Grace can assist ACL holders to document their breach reporting policies and ensure breaches are identified and rectified in a timely manner.
- Have Adequate Compensation Arrangements – ACL holders who don’t fall under an exemption in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009, need to hold Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance. Some ACL holders have an exemption in place for PI insurance, and must ensure they continue to meet the terms stipulated by ASIC to maintain that exemption.
If you would like to obtain further information or assistance with applying for an ACL, please contact Sophie Grace directly.