No Compliance Holiday for Financial Services Providers in COVID-19 Crisis

    View Author April 2020

    As Australia’s financial system adjusts to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and as difficult as the operating environment currently is, the direction from ASIC is that Australian financial service (AFS) licensees must remain focused on meeting their general obligations (including those under their AFS Licence and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act)).

    ASIC has not granted relief for AFS licensees from their obligation to comply with licensing and conduct obligations under Australian financial services laws. As such, AFS licensees should proactively assess the impacts of COVID-19 on its ability to meet its obligations and their existing compliance measures, with a view to approaching ASIC early to seek exemptions or modifications to their obligations if any non-compliance is expected.

    This is a high-level summary of some of the immediate issues for AFS licensees, particularly in the funds management industry in Australia.