Foreign financial service providers regulation update

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Better Targeted Superannuation Concessions and Other Measures) Bill 2023 was introduced into the House of Representatives on 30 November 2023. The Bill provides certainty for foreign financial services providers in Australia by establishing three exemptions from the requirement to hold an Australian Financial Services licence – the comparable regulator exemption; the professional investor exemption; and the market maker exemption. Background.

Unless exempt, the provision of a financial service in Australia without an AFS licence is a contravention of a civil penalty provision under subsection 911A(5B) of the Corporations Act.

The objective of Schedule 7 to the Bill is to allow Australian professional and wholesale investors to diversify their investment opportunities by reducing barriers to entry for foreign financial services providers in Australian financial markets while also ensuring appropriate regulatory oversight of foreign financial services providers to maintain domestic market integrity and investor protection. 

Schedule 7 to the Bill also fast-tracks the process for foreign financial services providers that apply for an AFS licence by exempting them from the fit and proper person test if they are authorised to provide financial services in a comparable overseas regulatory regime.

Schedule 7 to the Bill commences on 1 April 2025.

Under the professional investor exemption, FFSPs will be permitted 28 calendar days per year of marketing trips to Australia days in addition to days when the representatives do not meet with any clients.

The Bill allows FFSPs to report breaches within 30 business days (after becoming aware of, or when the FFSP would reasonably be expected to have become aware of, the reportable breach) which is longer than the 30 calendar day period that applies to breach reporting for AFSL holders.

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David Jacobson

Author: David Jacobson
Principal, Bright Corporate Law
About David Jacobson
The information contained in this article is not legal advice. It is not to be relied upon as a full statement of the law. You should seek professional advice for your specific needs and circumstances before acting or relying on any of the content.

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