Deadline looms for 700 tardy advisers

By Jamie Gray

Photo / Hawkes Bay Today
Photo / Hawkes Bay Today

Up to 700 financial advisers have yet to qualify as authorised financial advisers, which will potentially put them out of business if they fail to meet the July 1 deadline, the Financial Markets Authority said yesterday.

After July 1, it will be an offence under new financial adviser regulations for unlicensed advisers to provide retail clients with personalised investment planning services and financial advice on investment products.

Just over 600 advisers have been authorised to date, and a list of them is available on the FMA's website.

The changes are part of the Government's reforms of the finance services sector to improve investor protection and increase confidence in New Zealand's capital markets.

Financial advisers have been able to apply to be authorised since August last year. Despite the nine-month lead-in time, the FMA's director of financial adviser regulation, Mel Hewitson, said up to 700 advisers still had not completed the competency assessments required.

"Nearly 400 of those need to do an assessment which can take three to five weeks to get through. It's clear they're running the very real risk they won't be authorised in time," she said.

Hewitson said her team was working to ensure advisers who had completed their applications would be processed in time for the deadline.

"We've set June 17 as our target date to process those advisers who have done the work and sent in full and complete applications," she said. "That gives advisers time to notify their clients they can continue offering investment services."

The FMA said it would check advisers who applied but hadn't made the deadline and would take action against anyone who falsely held themselves up to be an authorised adviser.

- NZ Herald

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