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Foreign financial services get some relief

FOUR Australian Securities and Investments Commissionissued class orders will provide technical relief from certain obligations for foreign financial services in certain circumstances.

The relief has been provided in response to two main industry concerns – whether the new financial services reform regime applies in some cases to certain providers of foreign financial services or products and the degree of duplication of obligations under the FSR regime where a service provider is sufficiently regulated in another jurisdiction.

ASIC executive director of policy and markets regulation Malcolm Rodgers said the relief would particularly assist providers operating in Australia and Australian licensees trading on overseas markets.

He said the orders would clarify the application and nature of their obligations under the Corporations Act.

The class orders cover:

Modification of the financial statement and financial record requirements as they apply to foreign authorised deposit-taking institutions;

Dealing in derivatives or foreign exchange contracts by foreign ADIs that otherwise limit their activities to banking business for wholesale clients;

Clarification of when the licensing provisions apply to wholesale financial service providers who only have a limited connection to Australia;

Clarification of when the licensing provisions apply where financial products are held by people who move to Australia after acquiring the product; and

Exemption from the requirement to keep market-related records for transactions with foreign wholesale clients on overseas markets.

Copies of the class orders can be obtained from www.asic.gov.au or by phoning ASIC’s Infoline on 1300 300 630.

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