Thanks to our friends over at FinanceFeeds for informing market participants of the new opportunities presented in Australia for brokers and firms wishing to continue to do business with foreign nationals. We had previously reported that Australia’s Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) had granted licensed foreign brokers to obtain a local license to solicit customers in Australia. Now it turns out that these same provisions can now be used by ASIC-licensed firms in order to continue to do business with foreigners.
As indicated by FinanceFeeds, the law firm Minter Ellison has provided some complimentary analysis on the subject to help firms and individuals navigate the regulatory landscape. Essentially, Australian-registered brokers can work with foreign customers, so long as they maintain licenses in other, ‘sufficiently equivalent’ jurisdictions, including:
- Canada (Ontario)
- Hong Kong
- the United Kingdom
- the United States
As we mentioned previously, Cyprus (CySEC) and a few other notable jurisdictions are not included in the list, in some ways limiting the onboarding of customers by ASIC-licensed brokers from less regulated countries. Nonetheless, the new interpretation of ASIC’s provisions for foreign firms and customers provides a clear path forward for brokers that does not require ‘going offshore’.
The new licensing regime actually took effect on April 1st 2020, so firms can already begin applying through ASIC’s online electronic licensing portal. ASIC has also stated that firms will be able to apply for a foreign AFS license but delay the start date of their license.