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FPIA Adds Two More Approved Training Organisations

FPIA Adds Two More Approved Training Organisations

Two more major financial planning groups, Money Managers and Westpac Bank, have had their adviser education programmes endorsed by the standard setting body in the industry.

The Financial Planners and Insurance Advisers Association (FPIA) has awarded Westpac and Money Managers Approved Training Organisation status. To reach this status the companies have had to pass an independent audit of their internal training and supervision procedures.

The FPIA is the largest association representing financial planners in New Zealand. It is the only association that sets minimum education requirements for its members, and has a code of ethics, and a disciplinary process to enforce the code.

Currently a government appointed taskforce is looking at regulation of financial advisers. One of the expected outcomes is that advisers will be required to lift their educational standards.

FPIA Chief Executive Phillip Matthews said the association, and companies like Westpac and Money Managers which have ATO status, are setting the standard for adviser education.

"People who use financial planners who are members of the association can be assured those advisers have met specified education requirements," Mr Matthews said.

"Our independent auditor has compared Westpac and Money Managers internal training programmes and found they are at least equal to the standard Adviserlink course the FPIA requires Provisional Members to complete," Mr Matthews said.

"In addition he has found that their supervision and mentoring structures achieve the same results the association looks for from our mentoring arrangements".

"The only difference is that they achieve their training and mentoring within the company they work for rather than from external sources and our independent audit gives us comfort that this is the case."

The FPIA confirmed that the audit and approval was an initial endorsement only and that an annual review audit would ensure the training and supervision procedures were being followed.

Alan Anderson, Franchise Director for Money Managers said; "We are delighted to have the FPIA recognise our training and mentoring programmes as being comparable, or at least equal to their high standard."

"The FPIA set the benchmark for professional standards of practice through their CFP programme in New Zealand," Mr Anderson said.

Money Managers believe a strong professional body representing all advisers with minimum acceptable standards of practice is essential to ensure New Zealanders have confidence in financial advice providers. We look forward to supporting the FPIA in achieving their objectives.

With the development of risk management to compliment our Investment and Estate planning services, Money Managers believes the relevance of this approval is enhanced. We now expect our advisers to qualify for the CFP or CLU designations; these are the pinnacle of Financial Planning qualifications in New Zealand, going well beyond just the academic qualifications needed."

Ben Elliot, Head of Wealth at Westpac said, "Our profession is facing some profound changes, and this acknowledgement of our efforts to upskill Westpac advisers is a vote of confidence in our readiness to meet the demands of the future."

"We're delighted the industry recognises the quality of our training programme and believe it reinforces to our advisers the value of the comprehensive education and mentoring we offer.

"Above all, though, it gives our customers confidence that our advisers have the knowledge and skills required to deliver the best possible solution for their financial planning needs," Mr Elliott said

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