Australia’s ASIC requiring more capital, but only for market makers.
Australia’s financial regulator ASIC has put into effect (as of January 31, 2013) its new minimum capital requirements for retail brokers, including FX firms. Minimum capital is now AUD$ 500,000 (about USD$ 515,000), up ten-fold from just AUD$ 50,000, which was the lowest minimum capital required by any of the world’s leading financial regulators.
The AUD$ 500,000 figure is actually just a step on the road higher — ASIC minimum capital will again rise to AUD$ 1 million in one year’s time (on January 31, 2014).
Note that these changes apply only to market-making firms — for firms which operate with a true STP / ECN model minimum capital remains at AUD$ 50,000.
ASIC’s moves have been a boon for Australia’s leading domestic firms such as AxiTrader (a member of LeapRate’s Approved List of global FX brokerages) and Pepperstone. Some smaller firms, unable or unwilling to come up with the higher capital figures, have gone the STP route and are directing their market-making and clearing business to these firms.
Forex Industry Report