Relief Applications, Class Orders & ASIC Consultation

Do you think you should be exempt from requirements under the Corporations Act 2001, or relieved from obtaining an Australian Credit Licence (ACL) or an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL)?  For example, you may be subject to another jurisdiction or regulatory body that requires you to meet obligations that overlap, or it may not be applicable to your situation.  If so, you may be eligible for relief.

For example, ASIC has granted relief so that:
  • CFD & margin forex issuers can hold client money overseas (in a number of countries);
  • overseas companies may be relieved from the requirement to appoint Australian auditors provided certain conditions are met; 
  • charities are exempt from the requirement to hold an AFSL to provide financial services associated with their charitable purposes, subject to certain requirements, and are also in some cases exempt from APRA banking authorisation requirements; and
  • funders, lawyers and their representatives are exempt from the requirement to hold an AFSL to provide financial services associated with a litigation funding scheme and a proof of debt funding scheme.
See here for an exhaustive list of ASIC class orders.

If you believe that you could be eligible for, or in need of, an exemption, give us a call. We can help to determine whether you’re appropriate to fit an existing class or forge a new one, and consequentially apply for relief. 

Our experience

We have successfully applied for relief on numerous occasions.  Topics include handling client money, advice, dealing and issuing requirements, structured matters, eligible undertakings and more.

The onus is on your organisation to show why ASIC should grant such relief.  Therefore, the application process is extremely important, as ASIC may refuse an application that does not address all relevant issues.

ASIC’s regulatory guide 51 sets out the guidelines in applying for relief.  Under Regulatory Guide 51.1, ASIC may exercise discretionary powers to grant relief from the provisions of the:
  • (a) Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act)
  • (b) Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SIS Act);
  • (c) National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act); or
  • (d) National Consumer Credit Protection (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Act 2009 (Transitional Act).
There are three types of applications for relief:
  • (a) Standard applications — seeking relief in accordance with published ASIC policy and pro forma instruments (see RG 51.19);
  • (b) Minor and technical applications — involving the application of existing policy to new situations (see RG 51.20 – RG 51.22); and
  • (c) New policy applications — requiring us to formulate substantive new policy (see RG 51.23–RG 51.24).
Holley Nethercote can assist your organisation by providing consultation on what relief your organisation may require.  We can then determine the necessary information to be included in your relief application and help formulate this for you to ensure that the application is in the best state possible when forwarded to ASIC for assessment.  Information on how to apply for relief can be found on the ASIC website.  We usually engage in discussion with ASIC to "test the water" before lodging an application for relief.

Contact us now to find out more how we can assist.

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