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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
Australia financial regulator ASIC has announced that from 29 September 2017, the new crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime will come into effect and ASIC will begin accepting licence applications from CSF intermediaries.
Under the CSF regime, eligible public companies will be able to make offers of fully paid ordinary shares to a large number of investors via the online platform of a licensed intermediary. Generally, the CSF regime reduces the regulatory requirements for public fundraising and the intermediaries will play an important oversight role in this process.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said that the new system balances the need for regulatory oversight with supporting innovation.
ASIC welcomes the start of the new crowd-sourced funding laws. Crowd-sourced funding helps both start-ups and small to medium sized businesses and investors access the opportunities that are available from an innovative economy. It is also important for investors to understand the benefits and risks of crowd-sourced funding and we encourage them to refer to the materials on crowd-sourced funding on our MoneySmart website.
For companies to access the benefits of the new CSF regime, ASIC must first license suitable intermediaries to provide crowd-funding services. Providers of CSF services must hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence. From 29 September 2017 ASIC will begin accepting applications from potential CSF intermediaries for AFS licence authorisations to provide a crowd-funding service.
To facilitate implementation of this regime as soon as possible, ASIC’s Licensing team will consider applications from CSF intermediaries as a matter of priority.
ASIC has today released further details of its approach to the assessment of CSF intermediaries, and the information required for both new licence and variation applications seeking CSF service authorisation.
ASIC has also released an update to ASIC Form 206 which can be used to convert an existing company so that it is eligible to use the new CSF regime. ASIC will now accept lodgement of ASIC Form 206.