ASIC to take longer to process limited AFSL applications after funding ends

ASIC will now take longer to process limited Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) applications, after transitional funding ended.

ASIC received 899 limited AFSL applications in the six months to June 2016, far more than the 250 applications received between July 2013 and December 2015. Of these 899 applications 324 were finalised.

ASIC now says it’s funding has changed and is aiming to process the remaining applications by the end of March 2017.

“ASIC’s funding for implementing the limited AFS licensing regime ended on 30 June 2016. We now have a significant number of outstanding limited AFS licence applications to assess as part of our standard operational budget. Consequently, our workload in dealing with these applications has increased substantially, meaning that there will be a significant delay before they can all be assessed,” says the regulator in Report 503 Overview of licensing and professional registration applications: Jan to Jun 2016.

“Given the volume of limited AFS licence applications still on hand, and the fact that many applications do not generally include all the information we require, we expect that we will need to request further information or clarification to complete our assessment.”

“Because the transitional period funding has now elapsed, we will assess these limited AFS licence applications out of our existing ongoing resources.”

“Our aim is to complete this work for all applications lodged before 30 June 2016 by the end of March 2017. However, for the reasons outlined above, it is hard to predict when we will complete all our assessments.”

ASIC says it will provide regular progress updates to limited AFSL applicants.

ASIC also says the number of approved SMSF auditors has “stabilised” after a spike in growth in mid-2014. In the six months to 30 June 2016 ASIC approved 125 applications to be an approved SMSF auditor, had 69 withdrawn and refused zero. ASIC also cancelled the registration of 124 SMSF auditors, though 123 of these were at the request of the auditor – reasons are no recorded, but can include retirement.

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