THE second stage of a campaign to remove unlicensed operators from the financial services industry is underway.
Over the next six months the Australian Securities and Investments Commission will be conducting compliance checks on anyone who appears to be conducting a financial services business without an Australian financial services licence.
Phase one of the campaign involved following up on the 966 businesses ASIC had identified in December 2003 as old law licensees that had not applied for Australian financial services licences.
As a result of ASIC’s inquiries most of the unlicensed entities in the group either restructured their businesses to operate under an AFSL held by a related entity or became an authorised representative of another licensee.
Phase two of the campaign is to identify other businesses operating without a licence.
ASIC executive director of financial services regulation Ian Johnston said the commission would take action against any business it found to be breaching the law.
The penalty for carrying on a financial services business without a licence is a $22,000 fine or two years jail or both.