And so the discussions begin.............

In recent weeks we’ve seen the emergence of various forums, meetings, summits, and conferences, featuring the review of the Financial Advisers Act 2010, as provided for in the original legislation. I’ve attended the FSC’s event on the Future of Financial Advice, Massey University’s function, the National Adviser Conference, the FMA session (for AFAs), and more recently the Financial Capability Summit in Auckland.

The opening comments have all been very polite, considered, and measured, with no evidence of any stakeholders adopting a hard-and-fast line on any particular issue.

Indeed, at the FSC event, the Minister indicated that there was little appetite for wholesale change within Government.

But there does need to be some modifications as there are areas where the objectives of the legislation – and the regulations – are not being achieved.

Without submitting any proposed solutions at this stage, the following present as being in need of consideration:-

  • Education
  • Standards
  • Designation
  • Code of Conduct
  • Remuneration
  • Sales v Advice
  • FSPR

These tend to overlap and solutions will likely be inter-related as the discussion evolves. There may well be other items that will be raised, but from my perspective, addressing these issues would go a long way to making the regulations and the industry more effective.

The questions on the Dispute Resolution Schemes in the FMA review questionnaire should be raised elsewhere in a different forum.

There will no doubt be more such events in the near future and the current climate of stakeholder co-operation and collaboration is encouraging, and in direct contrast to the open hostility which prevails in Australia.

Here’s hoping NZ sticks to its guns and develops a consensus model for the issues in the review.