The Australian government today launched a consultation into proposals for relief for foreign financial service providers (FFSPs).

Let’s note that, in the 2021-22 Budget, the Government announced that it would consult on options to restore previously well-established regulatory relief for FFSPs and options to create a fast-track licensing process for those that wish to establish more permanent operations in Australia.

FFSPs provide Australian investors with access to global investment opportunities and overseas markets. FFSPs also attract investment and liquidity into Australia. These services are important for many Australian industries, such as the superannuation industry, to support diversified investment portfolios. Australian businesses also benefit from having greater access to overseas funding markets which provide growth opportunities.

The proposed measures are intended to reduce duplicate regulation and barriers for FFSPs entering the Australian market.

The government is seeking stakeholder feedback on options that aim to:

  • provide Australian licensing relief to FFSPs that are already similarly licensed and regulated in other jurisdictions that want to enter the Australian market,
  • provide Australian licensing relief to FFSPs not based in Australia that provide financial services to their Australian clients, and
  • fast-track the licensing process for FFSPs that will require a licence to operate in Australia.

The consultation paper poses questions to draw out which options are preferred and understand the implications of applying these options.

Interested parties can submit responses to this consultation up until 30 July 2021.

Additional information can be found in the consultation paper.