In a major step forward for co-ops, ASIC advises it has no supervisory role in fundraising under Co-operatives National Law.

ASIC has advised the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) it has no supervisory role in the offer of securities by CNL co-operatives in CNL jurisdictions.

BCCM raised questions about the relationship between the Co-operatives National Law (CNL) and the Corporations Act with ASIC. The view they have taken makes it clear that CNL co-ops are able to offer securities across all CNL jurisdictions without the need to lodge a disclosure statement with ASIC.

This information will be welcome news to co-ops who have been reticent to use their ability to offer shares, debentures and Co-operative Capital Units because of the possibility they would be required to comply with dual regulatory requirements for disclosure.

BCCM undertook a lengthy advocacy campaign to clarify this issue with regulators and ensure co-operatives have the same chance to grow and compete as other businesses.  

BCCM first raised the issue of potential dual regulation of co-operative fundraising at the Senate Inquiry into Co-operatives, Mutuals and Member-owned Firms in 2015.

BCCM CEO Melina Morrison said “the BCCM works for an enabling environment for all co-operatives and mutuals, whether state or federally regulated.”

“This is an important clarification from ASIC and will benefit all state-registered co-ops.”

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