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Thursday 23 May 2013

13-115MR ASIC reports on relief decisions – October 2012 to January 2013

ASIC has released its latest report outlining decisions on relief applications covering the period 1 October 2012 to 31 January 2013.

ASIC uses its discretion to vary or set aside certain requirements of the law where there is a net regulatory benefit or where ASIC can facilitate business without harming other stakeholders.

Report 344 Overview of decisions on relief applications (October 2012 to January 2013) (REP 344), aims to improve the level of transparency and the quality of publicly available information about decisions ASIC makes when asked to exercise its discretionary powers to grant relief from provisions of the:

  • Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act)
  • National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (National Credit Act), or
  • National Consumer Credit Protection (Transitional and Consequential Provisions) Act 2009 (Transitional Act).

REP 344 also discusses the various relevant publications released by ASIC during the three months.

REP 344 summarises examples of situations where ASIC has exercised, or refused to exercise, its exemption and modification powers under the Corporations Act and the licensing and responsible lending provisions of the National Credit Act. The report contains the first instance where ASIC exercised its powers under the ePayments Code and highlights instances where ASIC has considered adopting a no-action position regarding specified non-compliance with statutory provisions.

REP 344 provides examples of decisions that demonstrate how ASIC has applied its policy in practice which ASIC thinks will be of particular interest for capital market participants and for participants in the consumer credit and financial services industries. The report includes an appendix detailing the individual relief instruments referred to in the report. 

Background

ASIC can modify or set aside certain provisions of Chapters 2D (officers and employees), 2J (share buy-backs), 2L (debentures), 2M (financial reporting and audit), 5C (managed investment schemes), 6 (takeovers), 6A (compulsory acquisitions and buy-outs), 6C (information about ownership of entities), 6D (fundraising) and 7 (financial services) of the Corporations Act.

ASIC also has powers to grant relief under the National Credit Act from the licensing provisions in Chapter 2 and the responsible lending conduct provisions in Chapter 3. ASIC has powers to give relief from the registration provisions in Schedule 2 of the Transitional Act.

ASIC publishes a copy of most of the relief instruments issued in the ASIC Gazette, which is available from the ASIC website. Credit instruments are available from the ASIC website under ‘Credit relief’.

Applying for relief

Applications for relief must be in writing and should address the requirements set out in Regulatory Guide 51 Applications for relief (RG 51) (and any other regulatory guides relevant to the application), which can be found here. Applications can be submitted electronically to applications@asic.gov.au. Fees are applicable for relief applications.

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Last updated: 23/05/2013 12:00