AFS Licensing requirements for Foreign Financial Service Providers

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The clock is ticking for Foreign Financial Service Providers (FFSP) who offer financial services to wholesale and professional investors in Australia to adopt one of four options under a new Australian licensing regime put in place by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).

FFSPs who are currently relying on existing relief from ASIC and have until 31 March 2022 to either:

  • Apply for a newly created foreign Australian Financial Services Licence (FAFSL);
  • Apply for a standard Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL);
  • Rely on the limited exemption under the new Funds Management Relief; or
  • Obtain an authorisation from an existing AFSL holder.

The options available for a FFSP and the eligibility requirements are further explained in ASIC Regulatory Guide 176.

One Investment Group can assist in two ways.

Appointment of a FFSP as an Authorised Representative

If a FFSP does not want to apply for an AFSL, it can choose to be appointed as an authorised representative of a local AFSL holder within in the One Investment Group.  The regulatory process required to appoint an authorised representative is a very quick process, requiring only a notification to ASIC by one of One Investment Group’s AFSL holder.

As an authorised representative the FFSP will be able to provide financial services in Australia in accordance with the terms of its appointment.  The authorisation will allow a FFSP to market its financial products to wholesale, institutional and sophisticated investors in Australia.

The FFSP would be subject to certain limited reporting to and monitoring by One Investment Group, but otherwise its compliance obligations, costs and capital requirements would be far lower than if it held its own AFSL.

Acting as Local Agent

Depending on the FFSP’s circumstances and the option selected, to ensure that investors in Australia and ASIC can effectively engage with a FFSP, the FFSP must appoint a local agent and ensure that it does not fail to have an agent appointed in Australia for a consecutive period of 10 business days.

As local agent we would usually be responsible for doing of all acts, matters and things that the foreign company is required to do under the Corporations Act 2001 and can undertake the following for you:

  • Have a registered office in Australia for you where all communication and notices addressed to you can be received and forwarded to you;
  • Respond to requests for relevant information from ASIC and about the activities involving investors in Australia;
  • Display your business name and Australian Registered Business Number (ARBN) outside the office in Australia where your business is conducted;
  • Lodge annual returns and financial statements with ASIC as required.


OIG is one of Australia’s largest independent corporate trustee and funds administration business which has grown by providing clients with high quality service. OIG has a team of highly skilled managers with technical expertise and sound experience to provide local agent services and solutions for clients in a similar position to you.

If you require more information, please contact us at