ASIC tells firms to notify it of their AFCA membership

Licensees who fail to notify ASIC of their AFCA membership by the end of November will be in breach of their licence conditions and will face fees for late notification.

Nearly a month has passed since the new external dispute resolution body for Australia’s financial services sector started operating and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) is now reminding firms that they have to notify the regulator of their membership in the new body.

In an announcement issued earlier today, ASIC said financial firms that are members of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) must notify the regulator of their AFCA membership by November 30, 2018. This means that licensees have a couple of days left to do so.

Licensees who fail to notify ASIC will be in breach of their licence conditions and will face fees for late notification. ASIC estimates that more than half of AFCA’s 37,000 members are yet to notify ASIC of their membership details.

It is essential that licensees provide updated details to ASIC. Financial firms have been given an extension of time to notify ASIC and the regulator will not be extending the final notification date beyond November 30, 2018.

AFCA members who were former FOS members should enter a commencement date of May 1, 2018. The commencement date should be the same date as the effective date. The notification for AFS licensees can be made here.

The new body has taken over from the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal.

Financial firms including AFS licensees that provide financial services to retail clients, credit licensees, most credit representatives, superannuation trustees and unlicensed product issuers are required by law to join AFCA. Some other firms operating under a licensing exemption may also be required to join the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA), including firms operating in the regulatory sandbox. The firms should have done so by September 21, 2018.