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Financial Planners support self-regulation

Press Release
19 December 2003

Financial Planners support self-regulation

The Financial Planners & Insurance Advisers Association has welcomed the Periodic Review Group's comments on financial adviser regulation.

"The Group's comments on Investment Adviser Disclosure are correct and as an Association the FPIA has been an advocate of having those requirements strengthened and widened to include mandatory disclosure for all investment advisers," said FPIA Chief Executive Phillip Matthews.

"Members of FPIA are already bound to make full disclosure of those matters to their clients under our Code Of Ethics and Professional Conduct" Mr Matthews said.

Mr Matthews noted that members of the FPIA are also subject to a disciplinary process if a complaint is lodged against them by a client.

"That process is only available to clients of FPIA members," he said.

"It is the position of the FPIA that a similar process should be available to all clients of financial advisers whether they are members of the FPIA or not."

Mr Matthews welcomed the PRG's support of a self-regulatory model for financial advisers in New Zealand.

"The challenge will be to get all the advisers in New Zealand to sit down and come up with an agreed self-regulation plan to present to the Government by the end of next year."

Mr Matthews says the plan should cover anyone who sells investments, shares, managed funds, insurance and mortgages.

Currently there are about 3000 advisers in New Zealand but only about half of these people belong to a professional body that has a code of ethics and a disciplinary process.

"It is the FPIA's position that some form of regulation of financial advisers would be a good thing for New Zealand investors," he said. "That regulation should encompass minimum standards of competency to give advice, full disclosure rules, a mandatory Code Of Ethics and business practice standards, continuing education, a formalised complaints process for clients and a mechanism for removing those who give poor or illegal advice from the profession."

"The FPIA is willing to take a lead role in the process of developing a self regulating model for all advisers," Mr Matthews said.

ENDS

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