The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has published a media release to confirm that the current transitional licensing relief for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) providing financial services to Australian wholesale clients has been extended for a further 12 months to 31 March 2025.

FFSPs who held the benefit of “sufficient equivalence relief” under certain ASIC class order instruments on 31 March 2020 (see ASIC page for further details) as well as “limited connection relief” will continue to be able to benefit from these transitional arrangements.

The extension of the transitional relief, which was due to expire on 31 March 2024, was brought into effect by ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2023/588.

Consistent with this extension, ASIC has also delayed the commencement of the funds management relief until 1 April 2025, (ASIC Corporations (Foreign Financial Services Providers—Funds Management Financial Services) Instrument 2020/199) which is intended to grant licensing relief to certain FFSPs that provide funds management financial services to specified categories of Australian professional investors.

ASIC has indicated that it will continue to consider new individual licensing relief applications, as well as new standard and foreign Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence applications, from entities that cannot rely on the transitional relief.

Foreign licensees who wish to enter the Australia financial services wholesale market can consider exploring these licensing applications with ASIC (whether it be the individual temporary relief pathway, or the AFS licensing route). If you would like further details on how we can assist you with these applications here at Norton Rose Fulbright, feel free to reach out to us.