Over the years, the Australian residential property market has been a perfect choice for foreign entities, specifically Chinese buyers, to invest their money. Australia’s robust economy, together with a market that is unaffected by the volatility of rumours, has turned the land down under a perfect bet for foreign investors.
But changes in the legislation that took effect in 2015 have toughened the rules regarding foreign investment in Australia. Nowadays, it is more difficult than ever to use foreign money to buy a property in Australia. And one of the agencies that enforce stricter rules about residential property purchase is the ASIC or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
What is ASIC?
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission or ASIC is the country’s unified corporate, financial, markets, and consumer credit regulator.
ASIC is an autonomous Commonwealth Government body that is set up under and enforce the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 or ASIC Act. They perform their duties under the Corporations Act 2001.
The ASIC Act demands the agency to do the following:
- Keep, enable, and improve the implementation of the financial system and groups in it
- Advance informed and confident participation by consumers and investors in the financial system
- Apply the law effectively and with minimal bureaucratic requirements
- Implement and apply the law
- Receive, process and keep, quickly and effectively, any information given to them
- Make data about companies and other entities accessible to the public
- Take any necessary action to implement and apply the law
These are the ASIC’s priorities:
- Advancement of financial consumer and investor trust and confidence
- Securing fair, systematic, and transparent markets
- Give open and proficient registration
They have the authority to do the following:
- Record companies and managed investment schemes
- Permit Australian financial services licenses and Australian credit licenses
- Register liquidators and auditors
- Provide assistance from different provisions of the legislation which they govern
- Keep publicly open registers of data regarding companies, credit licenses, and financial services licenses
- Create rules focused at ensuring the fairness of financial markets
- Cease the distribution of financial products under faulty disclosure documents
- Probe alleged violations of the law and in doing so require people to provide books and answer questions at an investigation
- Issue notices of infringement in relation to alleged violations of some laws
- Prevent people from being involved in credit activities or providing illegal financial services
- Pursue civil penalties from the courts
- Begin prosecutions – these are usually done by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, although there are some categories of matters which they prosecute themselves
They are also mandated to protect consumers and investors against deceptive or misleading and unacceptable behaviour affecting all financial credits, products, and services.
If you are planning to purchase real estate property in Australia, the first thing that you need to do is to know more about ASIC. By doing this, you will learn more about certain provisions of the law that you need to uphold when buying a property. The rules about foreign nationals owning a property in Australia may have been fine-tuned but it is still possible for you to have one if you learn more about this particular government agency.