ASIC eases compliance on internet securities
The corporate regulator has released new guidelines on compliance requirements for businesses making securities offers via the internet or interactive media.
According to ASIC, the updated Regulatory Guide 107 Fundraising: Facilitating electronic offers of securities aims to reflect “current market practices and advances in technology”.
The updated regulatory guide includes an interpretation by ASIC of fundraising provisions in terms of electronic disclosure documents and application forms and provides class order relief for personalised and AFS Licensee-created application forms.
The class order relief will eliminate some of the doubts an issuer may have in issuing or transferring securities in response to an application form personalised or created by an AFS Licensee.
The regulatory guide said the class order relief will remove issuer concerns regarding whether or not the application form personalised or created by the AFS Licensee has been “distributed by the offeror” or “directly copied” or “directly derived” from the offeror’s application form.
The regulatory guide also includes good practice guidance for the use and distribution of electronic application forms.
While ASIC said the guidance is mainly focused on the distribution of documents by email and the internet, it said the principles listed should be applied to all electronic methods for distributing disclosure documents and application forms.
ASIC Commissioner John Price acknowledged that investors have “increasingly been using the internet and electronic devices to receive important information”.
“We want to ensure that our policy reflects these developments and assists companies using these platforms to comply with the law,” Mr Price said.
“Consistent with our focus on confident and informed investors, our good practice guide aims to encourage disclosure in a way that promotes investor confidence.”