The FMA has granted two class exemption notices to provide market participants with an additional two months to provide their audited financial statements and comply with certain other regulatory requirements.
The Financial Markets Conduct (Financial Reporting and Other Relief – COVID-19) Exemption Notice 2020 and the Financial Advisers (Custodian Assurance Engagement Relief – COVID-19) Exemption Notice 2020 commence on 29 April 2020.
The regulator of Financial Services has also publicised its intent to take a primary approach of ‘no action’ as a form of relief where market participants breach regulatory obligations due to COVID-19.
The relief is available where a market participant believes, on reasonable grounds, that it is not reasonably practicable for it to comply within the required time frame due to impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FMA says the exemptions generally apply for businesses with balance dates on and after 31 December 2019 and before 1 August 2020.
The notice requirements require market participants to:
- Comply with the relevant obligation within an extended period of two months.
- Notify the FMA in writing if they are relying on the exemption.
- in some cases, also lodge a copy of the notice to the FMA with the Registrar.