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Three Licence Classes For Financial Advice Providers Welcomed

Financial Advice New Zealand welcomes the idea of having three classes of licence for financial advice providers, as proposed in the FMA’s consultation document on full licensing, released today.

Chief Executive Katrina Shanks says having three licence classes is a change for the sector but one she believes will be widely supported, especially by small advice businesses.

“Financial Advice NZ supports a system that offers licences that fit the scale, size and different financial advice that businesses provide, be they for a single-adviser business, a multiple adviser business, or something more complex, such as a licensed FAP engaging multiple advisers as well as having nominated representatives.

“This system will be beneficial to small businesses that do great work providing personalised financial advice to clients and who will have a system that’s fit for purpose.”

The FMA’s consultation document on the classes and standard conditions to be imposed on full licences was released ahead of a sold-out webinar hosted by Financial Advice NZ, where the FMA’s John Botica gave members the first look at the proposed conditions. The full regime will come into effect two years after the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act is enacted early next year.

Mrs Shanks welcomed the document and the long consultation period, which closes on 7 August.

Of the eight standards proposed by the FMA, she said Financial Advice NZ had particular interest around four of them.

“It’s great the FMA has listened to what the sector has been saying on the standard conditions for full licences, and we will be particularly interested to see how standards in relation to outsourcing, business continuity, technology systems and professional indemnity evolve in this process.

“We are pleased, as John Botica said today, that businesses will be expected to apply only systems proportionate to size of their business. That makes perfect sense.”

Financial Advice NZ will consult members before submitting on the consultation document.

“It was also great for members to get a pat on the back from the FMA for the work they did through the COVID-19 lockdowns, acting as ‘an emotional fire breaker’ by supporting their clients and keeping them informed.”

Financial Advice NZ will be holding a repeat of today’s webinar on Friday at 10am to allow those who missed out today, to get the FMA briefing and to ask questions.

Financial Advice NZ will also be delivering workshops around New Zealand during September, once the consultation period and any amendments have been finalised.

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