The enhanced regulatory sandbox (ERS) introduced by the Australian government is slated to commence next month, and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) is helping interested parties understand how it works by issuing guidance.
A class waiver from licensing, the ERS supersedes the previous regulatory sandbox administered by ASIC and allows for a longer testing period for a broader range of financial services and credit activities.
ASIC said having the ERS exemption will enable those who meet eligibility criteria to test certain innovative financial services or credit activities without first obtaining an AFS (Australian financial services) licence or a credit licence.
Materials provided by ASIC include a comparison between its predecessor sandbox and the government’s ERS. An information sheet and other relevant documents are also available on the regulator’s website.
“ASIC’s guidance is intended to help businesses understand how the enhanced sandbox works including their obligations to consumers, how it may be applicable to them, and how to apply to make use of the sandbox,” said Commissioner Cathie Armour, whose camp encourages businesses to refer to the guidance and direct any inquiries to ASIC’s online innovation hub.
The ERS came to life through legislative amendments made in February and subsequent regulations put forward in May. The goal is to facilitate financial innovation in Australia.