If you are regulated by the UK FSA, the US SEC, Federal Reserve, OCC or CFTC, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the HK SFC or the German BaFin and have been granted Australian licensing relief then this month you must lodge a notice with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to continue providing financial services to wholesale clients in Australia.
ASIC requires foreign financial service providers relying on passporting relief in Australia to lodge notices with ASIC on an ongoing basis. Entities must notify ASIC as soon as practicable of any significant change to their authorisation in the foreign jurisdiction relevant to the financial services it provides or intends to provide in Australia.
Entities must also notify ASIC by 30 September and 31 March of each year:
of each significant change to the regulatory requirements relating to the financial services it provides in its home jurisdiction,
of each disciplinary or enforcement action taken by any overseas regulatory authority which regulates financial services, and
where there has been no such notifiable change or action, that there has been no notifiable regulatory change or action.
These compulsory 6 monthly notifications are monitored strictly by ASIC. Failure to comply with them can lead to loss of passporting relief.
ASIC proposes to change the six month notification requirement to a yearly requirement. ASIC is also exploring a “mutual recognition approach”. Under this approach, ASIC would rely on supervision by overseas regulators (where an agreement between ASIC and an overseas regulator exists), dispensing with the need for notification. These proposals were announced in June 2008 and are yet to come into force.