Statutory Compliance Update January 2017
The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
The outcomes of an APRA and ASIC review of existing exemptions from the Banking Act 1959 and provisions of the Corporations Act 2001 that apply to charitable investment fundraisers (CIF’s) resulted in changes and a new order effective 1 January 2017. APRA and ASIC use slightly different terminology, but for the purposes of this update, the terms are largely interchangeable. APRA uses the concept of affiliated retail investor while ASIC uses the term retail non-associated client. APRA refers to bodies such as AFSA as RCDF’s (religious charitable development funds), while ASIC refers to them as charitable investment fundraisers CIF’s. In this update, we will use the ASIC terms of retail non-associated clients and CIF’s.
As of 1 July 2017, AFSA will only accept new investment products from associated clients, such as Anglican Parishes and ministry units, Diocesan agencies, Anglican Schools, Anglican affiliated entities, clergy and staff. Unfortunately, these changes in the regulatory framework meant that AFSA was obliged to return funds to investors who did not fall within the parameters of the definition of ‘associated clients’, as contained in the new regulations.
The relief from various legal requirements is conditional and AFSA is required to make investors aware that;
- Neither the Synod, nor AFSA nor its products, nor its promotional material and offer documents have been examined or approved by ASIC
- AFSA products are only intended to attract investors whose primary purpose for making the investment is to support the Synod’s charitable purposes
- AFSA products and their offering are not subject to the usual protections for investors under the Corporations Act or regulation by ASIC
- Investors may not be able to get some or all of their money back when the investor expects, or at all and the investment is not comparable to investments with banks, finance companies or fund managers
- AFSA has lodged (and ASIC has accepted) an identification statement that is available via the link below
- AFSA is not prudentially supervised by APRA. Therefore, an investment in an AFSA product will not receive the benefit of the financial claims scheme or the depositor protection provisions in the Banking Act 1959. Investments in AFSA are intended to be a means for customers to support to the charitable purposes of the Fund.