New Financial Regime: What It Means For You

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30 Mar New Financial Regime: What It Means For You

When it comes to getting financial advice, it pays to have an expert on your side. A financial adviser is someone who understands the financial industry, and provides advice about personal finance, mortgage lending, financial planning, investing, insurance and other financial services tailored to your needs.

On March 15, 2021, a new regulatory regime for financial advice came into force, impacting the way financial advisers work. From this date onwards, anyone providing financial advice to retail clients will need to adhere to a Code of Conduct and provide disclosure material that is relevant and transparent. Adviser classifications ( Authorised Financial Adviser, Registered Financial Adviser and Qualifying Financial Entity ) have also been removed and financial advice can now be provided online and in person, while still protecting the client.

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re looking for a financial adviser, here are some things to look out for.

New regime changes

 

New Code of Conduct

Financial advisers providing advice to retail clients must adhere to a new Code of Professional Conduct for financial advice services, which outlines the standards of conduct, client care, competence, knowledge and skill that financial advisers must meet when providing financial advice in New Zealand.

Improved regulation around the expected standards for financial advice will have a positive impact on clients, helping improve their financial resilience and making it easier for them to access high-quality financial advice that better prepares them for the future.

New disclosure requirements

All financial advisers providing regulated financial advice to retail clients in New Zealand must disclose certain information to clients, including:

  1. The licence they hold and the duties they are subject to.
  2. The financial advice services they can provide, the range of products they can advise on, and any limits to their advice.
  3. The applicable fees and costs associated with their advice.
  4. Any commissions, incentives or other conflicts of interest that could impact their advice.
  5. The complaints handling and dispute resolution process.
  6. Any previous disciplinary history, certain criminal convictions or civil proceedings, or bankruptcy proceedings within the last 4 years.

 

These changes have been introduced to improve clients’ understanding of the financial advice provided and to ensure complete transparency with all financial advice.

New registration requirements

To address the misuse of the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR), a company, or other business entity, can only apply to register as a financial service provider if they provide services to New Zealand clients.

This is a new requirement and it aims to improve clients’ confidence in New Zealand’s systems and protect its good reputation, both here and overseas.

Standard conditions

All financial advice providers will need to operate under a Financial Advice Provider (FAP) licence granted by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and must comply with the conditions of the relevant licence.

Questions to ask when choosing a financial adviser

When choosing a financial adviser, it’s important to know that the person you’re working with complies with the new regulations and has the necessary licence and registration. Here are some questions to ask to help you choose the right financial adviser:

Are you registered on FSPR?

To check whether a financial adviser is registered, and to see who they work for, enter their name on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) and check their details.

Do you operate under a licence?

Under the new financial regime, financial advice providers need to be covered by a licensed Financial Advice Provider (FAP) licence. Use the FSPR website to find out how an FAP is linked to a financial adviser.

What financial products can you advise on?

Financial advisers are only qualified to advise on specific areas of finance, and they must disclose up front which services these are.

How do you get paid?

Understanding how a financial adviser gets paid is important, as it can help you determine whether they work on your behalf, or for the organization paying them. Under the new financial regime, financial advisers must disclose this information to clients.

What is the complaints process?

Financial advisers are required to disclose information about the complaints handling and dispute resolution process.

Max Money Group implementing changes

At the Max Money Group, we put our clients’ interests at the heart of everything we do. That means you can rest assured that our financial advisers are authorised and qualified to help you, by providing finance and insurance advice that meets the requirements of the new financial regime.

All of our financial advisers are registered on FSPR (Financial Service Providers Register), and we are licenced and/or authorised to provide financial advice in relation to personal lending, mortgage and insurance products.

We disclose all required information to our clients, including:

  1. The scope of advice we can provide: we are qualified to provide advice on personal loans, mortgages, loan protection insurance, MBI Insurance and general insurance products.
  2. The way we are paid for our advice: all of our financial advisers are salaried advisers. In addition to their base salary, an employee may be entitled to commission, in accordance with the Performance Based Development & Incentive Plan.
  3. Dispute resolution arrangements: if you wish to make a complaint, we will inform you of our internal complaints handling process and how to access our external dispute resolution scheme.

 

Contact a financial adviser

Whether you need advice about personal loans, mortgages, business lending, or insurance, get in touch with us and one of our financial advisers will contact you to set up a time to meet and discuss your requirements.

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