ASB says a change in the way the regulator views personalised financial advice has opened the door for it to provide more KiwiSaver advice.

The bank, which is the country's second largest KiwiSaver provider, has launched a new in-house tool called KiwiSaver Explorer to help people decide whether to join KiwiSaver and which fund they should be in.

The move comes after the Financial Markets Authority revamped its guidance on financial advice after its research found just three in 1000 Kiwis were getting personalised advice for KiwiSaver.

Jonathan Beale, ASB's general manager of wealth, said introducing the tool would not have been possible without the new guidance.


"We were like a lot of other providers. We were confused by the previous guidance."

Beale said it put together the programme to help staff answer commonly asked questions in a consistent way.

He said very few people walked into a branch and asked for personal financial advice but they did ask which KiwiSaver fund their money should be in.

It piloted the programme in December through a number of branches and rolled it out across its network last month.

Beale said it was not about signing people up to the ASB's KiwiSaver scheme as many of those who were asking were already in the scheme.

But it was focused on explaining how KiwiSaver worked.

He said the first question it addressed was what people planned to use their KiwiSaver for - a house or retirement.

"If they are saying it is for a first home - we don't talk to them about retirement."


Beale said it then prompted people to talk about which fund was most appropriate for the timeframe they were saving for and what level of contributions they should make.

The tool links into the bank's retirement savings calculator which allows people to adjust their contribution levels and the fund they are in to see what difference it could make to the amount they have saved by retirement.

Beale said the tool was effectively its first foray into robo-advice.

The bank planned to put the tool on its website for general use by the end of the year.