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Committee begins financial adviser disciplinary proceedings

Disciplinary Committee ready to conduct financial adviser disciplinary proceedings

Departing Commissioner for Financial Advisers, David Mayhew, has completed his final statutory role as Chair of the Financial Advisers Disciplinary Committee chairing its first meeting, where the committee approved its rules and procedures for operation.

The Committee was appointed by the Minister of Commerce to conduct disciplinary proceedings arising from complaints about alleged breaches of the Code of Professional Conduct by Authorised Financial Advisers. Penalties for breaches include a fine of up to $10,000, cancellation of authorisation, suspension, and censure.

"Advisers who have been authorised are now subject to obligations under the Financial Advisers Act and the Code of Professional Conduct. It is important the Disciplinary Committee is ready to receive any complaints referred by the Securities Commission", says David Mayhew.

Investors who have concerns about the behaviour of their financial adviser have been able to complain to the Commission since 1 December 2010.

Where the Commission, following investigation, believes there is a breach of the Code, it will refer the complaint to the Disciplinary Committee. The Commission has investigated seven complaints to date, but none has yet been referred.

The Rules of Procedure will be available on the Disciplinary Committee's website which will be established after the Financial Markets Authority commences operating on 1 May 2011.

The Disciplinary Committee also agreed at its meeting that Hon Sir Bruce Robertson, would act as interim Chair of the Committee pending the appointment of a new Chair by the Minister of Commerce. The Committee also comprises Tracey Berry, Simon Hassan and Peter Houghton.

David Mayhew finishes his role as Commissioner for Financial Advisers and Member of the Securities Commission on 30 April.

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