Australian reforms will impact on NZ Financial Services industry
Wednesday, April 11th 2001, 6:45AM
A bill introduced to the Australian Federal Parliament is likely to have an impact on the New Zealand financial services industry, Phillips Fox Auckland partner Nigel Stranaghan says.
The long-awaited, and far-reaching Financial Services Reform Bill (FSRB) is designed to developing a globally competitive and consumer focused industry, Financial Services minister Joe Hockey says.
He says the bill is needed to deal with fragmented regulatory framework currently in place, which was creating inefficiencies and confusion for consumers and advisers.
"The Financial Services Industry report recommended the introduction of a single licensing regime for all financial sales, advice and dealing and the creation of a consistent and comparable product disclosure framework," Hockey says.
Stranaghan says the bill is one of the biggest challenges the Australasian insurance and financial services industry has faced in many years.
"The bill will mean substantial changes to licensing, distribution, product and business strategies, advertising and promotional material, training and compliance in Australia," he says.
"This legislation will have wide-ranging effects, impacting at all levels of the insurance and financial services industry, and will therefore have important implications for participants in the New Zealand financial services market who have a presence in Australia or an Australian parent.
He says it will have a trickle down effect on day to day activities in the New Zealand market given the trends towards compliance with global standards and the offering of Australian products in New Zealand.
"The approach to the licensing of participants in New Zealand may also be influenced by the new Australian approach".
Stranaghan says that the bill contains significant detail in the consumer protection area.
"The product disclosure provisions have always been the most controversial provisions. The commission disclosure sections have been maintained and advance notice given that they may be expanded in the regulations for risk insurance and investment products." he says.
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