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Financial Advice NZ Welcomes Delay Of Submissions On Conduct Of Institutions Bill

Yesterday’s decision by Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Committee to extend the time for submissions on the Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Bill is a very sensible one, says Financial Advice NZ.

“This is the exactly the right decision under the circumstances,” says CEO Katrina Shanks.

Financial Advice wrote to the select committee on Tuesday last week asking for submissions to be delayed for at least a month “because of the pressures on the financial and business sector caused by COVID-19”.

Submissions were due to close this Friday.

Last Wednesday the committee declined the request, but yesterday notified Financial Advice NZ they had reconsidered the request and submissions would now be held open until April 30.

“This will allow our members the time and space to concentrate on advising clients and supporting them through the implications of volatile markets responding to the pandemic.

“This delay is in everyone’s best interests.”

Financial Advice NZ’s letter to the select committee:

“Financial Advice NZ, on behalf of 1,600 members, is requesting the Select Committee delay the closing of submissions for a minimum of a month because of the pressures on the financial and business sector caused by COVID-19.

“The extraordinary circumstances surrounding the evolving COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the requirement for advisers to work through how they are going to operate under FSLAA whilst also considering the wide reaching implications of new legislation, places enormous pressure on financial advisers when they need to focus on their clients.

“This new pandemic environment with its multi-faceted issues that need adviser support have multiplied the adviser workload exponentially, and of those supporting them.

“It is vital financial advisers are able to focus on providing professional services to their clients and supporting them through the implications of volatile markets, insurance support and advocacy without the distractions of the Select Committee processes in the development of new legislation and the uncertainty that this brings.

“Whilst this will inevitably delay legislation that aims to support the public interest, we believe this requested delay is in the best interests of the New Zealand public.

“The combination of unprecedented business disruption for financial advisers on top of managing a significant regulatory change and the development of new legislation may create a perfect storm which has the potential to overload the sector.”

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