M&FB Online: 24 March 2010
What you need to know this fortnight
- Regulation Updates
- ACL Criminal History Check - Federal Police
- Appointment of Credit Representatives under the NCCP Act
- ASIC Visits - what to expect
- 2010 MFAA Excellence Awards - Winners
- MemberBenefits - Save on Cinema tickets
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Members should be aware that when they make application for an Australian Credit Licence (ACL), one of the documents required by ASIC as part of background checks for all ‘fit and proper’ people is a criminal history check that must be less than twelve months old.
ASIC’s Regulatory Guide 204 specifies that a Criminal History Check from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) only will comply.
ASIC’s information sheet INFO 97 - Guidance for small credit businesses specifies:
Step 4: Do background checks on the people involved in your business
“You will need to attach to your application form copies of a criminal history check, a bankruptcy check and a credit history check for each of the people who are involved in managing your credit business. If you have a company, these people are likely to be your directors and company secretary. You might also include a senior employee if they are involved in making substantial decisions about how your business is run.
As these checks can take a while to complete, we suggest that you apply for them about six weeks before you plan to lodge your application form."
For information about how to apply for these background checks, see Regulatory Guide 204 Applying for and varying a credit licence. Download the RG here: RG 204
The relevant section of RG 204 is shown below:
Providing additional documents
For each of your ‘fit and proper people’, you will be required to provide:
(a) a criminal history check that is no more than 12 months old;
(b) a bankruptcy check that is no more than 12 months old; and
(c) a credit history report that is no more than three months old.
You are not required to send us original documents. However, you must keep the original documents and give them to us if we ask for them.
Criminal history check - AFP criminal history check
Criminal history checks can take up to six weeks or more to obtain, so apply for them early.
The check you need is called a ‘Name Check—ASIC Licensing’. We will not accept other police documents or police checks, such as those for applications for firearms licences.
You can get a form from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) or download one from www.afp.gov.au. Make sure you select the special form to request a check for ASIC purposes. This check will not include convictions that are ‘spent’ or ‘quashed’: see the definition of ‘spent conviction’ in Part VIIC of the Crimes Act 1914. You are not obliged to disclose a spent conviction to us.
Carefully read the instructions before completing the form. The AFP will return any forms that are incomplete. You need to pay a fee to the AFP when you apply for the check.
Send your form and cheque or money order to:
Criminal Records - National Police Check
AFP Criminal Records
Locked Bag 8550
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
Ph:(02) 6202 3333
Email Criminal Records
NOTE: MFAA has made a submission to ASIC about the need for both a bankruptcy and credit check for each ‘person’. ASIC has advised that it accepts our argument (ie bankruptcy check not required if credit check provided) and this advice will be made public shortly.
Once a business is registered, it can start appointing credit representatives straight away. Gadens Lawyers have written a paper for MFAA Members which addresses the following:
- Representatives of licensees
- Appointment of credit representatives
- What about appointment of credit representatives before a licence is granted?
Click here to read the full guidance paper.
ASIC recently wrote to MFAA seeking to enhance lines of communication with participants in the credit industry and to better understand the operations of credit businesses.
ASIC staff are about to undertake a series of visits to entities that are likely to need to register with ASIC between April and June and require an Australian Credit Licence or become a representative of an Australian Credit Licensee post 1 July 2010.
Excerpt from ASIC Letter to MFAA:
"Staff from ASIC offices will contact and schedule visits with a representative sample of entities that currently engage in credit activities and who may be expected to apply for an Australian Credit Licence post 1 July 2010. The meetings are entirely voluntary, although we would encourage the invited entities to meet with us.
We expect these meetings will last between one and two hours and provide an opportunity for local credit businesses to meet ASIC staff members from the local office. Staff will discuss with the entities their structure, the products and services they offer to consumers and their general degree of preparedness for the new Federal credit regime. It will also provide an opportunity for entities to discuss directly any issues or questions they may have about their obligations under the Act, including the registration and licensing process."
The MFAA would like to congratulate all winners and finalists of the 2010 MFAA Excellence Awards on their outstanding achievements and contribution to our industry.
These top industry performers were celebrated at the 2010 MFAA Excellence Awards Presentation Dinner held at The Westin, Sydney on Friday evening.
There were 15 award winners on the night, four which were awarded to outstanding individuals and 11 awarded to top performing companies. The most prestigious award, Operator of the Year, was awarded jointly for the first time ever to Horizon Financial and Mildura Finance Limited who were judged as the best from 13 of the categories.
“Despite coming on the back of an incredibly tough financial year, I am pleased to say that mortgage and finance industry is faring well as reflected in the record number of awards submissions the MFAA received this year,” continued Mr. Naylor. “This coupled with the fact that it is the first time we have had two joint winners for the Operator of the Year category should reassure consumers’ confidence in the extremely high standards expected from our members.”
MFAA thanks Platinum Industry Partner Commonwealth Bank for its sponsorship of the MFAA Excellence Awards
To read about all the winners of these coveted awards please click here
The Member Benefits Box Office* delivers great savings on pre-purchased cinema tickets, Queensland theme park tickets, Melbourne attractions and Australian Outback Spectacular tickets.
Click here to buy your tickets online or phone your order through on (03) 9822 9966 or 1800 352 600 outside Melbourne and quote “Member Benefits”.
*The Member Benefits Box Office is owned and operated by SPENDLESS