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D-Day for Financial Advisers

D-Day for Financial Advisers

From 1 April, all financial advisers, or the companies they work for, have to be registered on the online Financial Service Providers Register, www.fspr.govt.nz. Advisers who should be on the register, but aren’t risk hefty penalties.

Securities Commission Director of Financial Adviser Regulation, Mel Hewitson says that from tomorrow [1 April] investors should deal only with registered advisers.

“It’s easy to check whether a financial adviser is registered at the online register. Investors can also use the register to see whether an adviser has taken the additional step of becoming licensed as an authorised financial adviser (AFA).”

AFAs can advise on more complex financial products and services and have to meet additional competence and conduct standards under the companion Financial Advisers Act which comes fully into force on 1 July.

Ms Hewitson says it’s important people receive adequate protection whichever type of adviser they choose.

“Restoring investor confidence is at the heart of the financial adviser regulation.”

At as 31 March there were 5,487 registered financial advisers throughout the country. So far, 1441 have applied to become AFAs, of which nearly 300 have been licensed.

Sixty-three financial entities have been granted a Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE) licence. QFEs will be responsible for some 20,000 advisers. Advisers in a QFE don’t need to be individually registered but their QFE will be on the register.

ENDS

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