The ASIC Innovation Hub has recently had its first year anniversary. ASIC’s activity through the Hub continues to grow, as does the number of start-up businesses seeking assistance through the Hub (approximately 80 entities).
The Hub’s primary objective since its establishment has been to encourage FinTech start-up businesses, whilst assisting them to understand the Australian financial regulatory system.
However, assistance through the Hub is not available to just any FinTech business. Businesses will only qualify for assistance where they:
- are a FinTech start-up in the process of applying for an AFSL or credit licence (ACL) or have operated under an AFSL or ACL for less than 12 months;
- can offer a new or innovative product or service; and
- the product/service offered provides better outcomes for investors and consumers.
As an eligible FinTech start-up, you will receive access to informal assistance from ASIC in relation to:
- obligations under the AFSL or ACL regulatory framework;
- obtaining an AFSL or ACL;
- key regulatory issues to be considered as part of setting up the business; and
- if required, further assistance during the first 12 months of being licensed.
Ineligible FinTech start-ups can still access a range of tailored guidance issued by ASIC and some frequently asked questions about AFSLs and ACLs.
The work ASIC is doing through the Hub is positive and shows a commitment to supporting innovation within the FinTech space. However, the nature of the innovative business plans of FinTech start-ups will often require more specific or practical advice than can be offered through the Hub initiatives.