The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released guidance for public companies and crowd-funding platform operators to support them in using the new crowd-sourced funding (CSF) regime, which commences on 29 September 2017.
ASIC Commissioner John Price said: “Crowd-sourced funding provides an opportunity for small to medium-sized businesses to access an alternate source of capital, without the regulatory burden of traditional fundraising. ASIC’s new guidance will help public companies and crowd-funding platform operators comply with their obligations under the CSF regime, while supporting investor confidence.”
Regulatory Guide 261 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for public companies (RG 261) will assist companies seeking to raise funds through CSF to understand and comply with their obligations in the new regime, particularly as many of these companies will not have experience in making public offers of their shares. ASIC has also published a template CSF offer document to help companies prepare their CSF offers.
Regulatory Guide 262 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for intermediaries (RG 262) will assist crowd funding platform operators (‘intermediaries’) seeking to provide a crowd-funding service, particularly as this is a new type of financial service and there are unique gatekeeper obligations for operating platforms for CSF offers.
ASIC has also:
- Updated ASIC Corporations (Consents to Statements) Instrument 2016/72 to reduce the compliance burden associated with obtaining consent for statements in CSF offer documents.
- Issued ASIC Corporations (Financial Requirements for CSF Intermediaries) Instrument 2017/339, which outlines specific minimum requirements for CSF intermediaries.
- Amended ASIC class orders [CO 13/762], [CO 13/763] and ASIC Corporations (Nominee and Custody Services) Instrument 2016/1156.
ASIC consulted on its guidance and relief in June 2017 and has now published Report 544 Response to submissions on CP 288 and CP 289 on crowd-sourced funding (REP 544), detailing ASIC’s response to that consultation (refer: 17-195MR).
See the ASIC website for further information on crowd-sourced funding, including information on applications:
- By intermediaries for an AFS licence with an authorisation to provide CSF services (refer: 17-312MR).
- To register new public companies or convert existing proprietary companies to public companies, to be eligible to raise funds using CSF and to access the corporate governance concessions.
See ASIC’s Moneysmart page on crowd-sourced funding for further information on how to invest through crowd-sourced funding.
The following information is available on ASIC’s website:
- Regulatory Guide 261 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for public companies (including template CSF offer document).
- Regulatory Guide 262 Crowd-sourced funding: Guide for intermediaries.
- Report 544 Response to submissions on CP 288 and CP 289 on crowd-sourced funding.
- ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2017/817 – which amends ASIC Corporations (Consents to Statements) Instrument 2016/72.
- ASIC Corporations (Amendment) Instrument 2017/821 – which amends [CO 13/762], [CO 13/763] and ASIC Corporations (Nominee and Custody Services) Instrument 2016/1156.
- ASIC Corporations (Financial Requirements for CSF Intermediaries) Instrument 2017/339.
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