Is Australia becoming a less attractive destination for financial firms? According to data published this Monday by Australian financial regulator, the (ASIC), applicants for the Australian Financial Services (AFS) licences for the 2018-2019 period dropped.
During the July 2018 to June 2019 period, the total number of AFS and credit licence applications was 1,504. This is less than the 1,819 applications submitted in the previous year period by 17.3 per cent.
From the applications submitted in the most recent period, 439 related to new AFS licences, 589 related to variations to existing AFS licences, 243 related to new credit licences and 233 related to variations to existing credit licences.
ASIC cancelled 342 AFS licences
During the period, ASIC and suspended 11 AFS licences. As , the Aussie regulator suspended the AFS licence of Financial Options Pty Ltd, a Queensland-based financial services provider, earlier this year.
In the twelve-month period, the watchdog approved 327 new AFS licences and varied 495 AFS licences, of which 467 were approved with additional regulatory outcomes.
This included the Australian authority approving the – Fortrade. The firm was already operating with several regulatory permits, including one from the UK FCA, Belarus, and more recently Australia.
The data released today is part of ASIC’s efforts to increase transparency. According to a statement released by the regulator today, the data also aims to provide guidance to prospective applicants.
Commenting on the data, Mr Warren Day, Executive Director, Assessment & Intelligence said: “ASIC’s Licensing function serves an important gatekeeping role for ASIC, ensuring applicants seeking an Australian financial services (AFS) licence, credit licence or auditor-related professional registration meet minimum standards to offer regulated services. We help protect consumers by ensuring an appropriate level of scrutiny is applied to these applications.
“We are keen to foster a better understanding of the nature of ASIC’s decision-making, what we consider when receiving an application and what is likely to increase the time required to consider an application.”
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