News Round Up:September 3
Honeymoon over for AFAs; FMA targets property syndicates; Adviser organises Money Week bank protest.
Monday, September 3rd 2012, 2:18PM 1 Comment
AFAs face higher expectations
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) received 4,239 complaints during its first year of operation, with the new adviser regime and people or entities providing advice among the most complained about issues.
The regulator also made it clear that for Authorised Financial Advisers (AFAs), the honeymoon is over. In its inaugural Inquiries, Investigations and Enforcement Report the watchdog said its focus with regard to AFAs had so far been on education and engagement.
“However, the pendulum is now swinging towards testing compliance and enforcing the law,” the report said.
“FMA has made it clear to AFAs and their industry bodies that our expectation will continue to rise and that we expect to see more proactive and willing compliance.”
FMA targets property syndicates
The Financial Markets Authority is planning to increase the regulatory requirements for property syndicates by not renewing their 10-year Securities Act exemption when it expires on September 30.
Instead, all issuers will be required to register a prospectus and investment statement, and appoint a statutory supervisor.
FMA intends to issue guidance to assist market participants with the disclosure requirements of the prospectus and investment statement as they relate to these schemes.
“There are significant risks particular to Real Property Proportionate Ownership Schemes that need to be better understood,” said FMA Head of Primary Regulatory Operations Sue Brown.
“These changes will provide investors with the information they need to make informed decisions before investing in these schemes.”
Adviser organises Money Week bank protest
The inaugural Money Week kicks off today and while some financial advisers will be busy providing free advice, another adviser will be marking the occasion by marching down the streets.
Lucas Remmerswaal has organised protests against banks over complex interest rate swaps that were allegedly mis-sold to farmers who didn’t fully understand what they were buying.
The Sunday Star-Times has reported that banks have sold billions of dollars of swaps to farmers, some of whom have now ended up paying interest rates of over 10% on their mortgages.
Remmerswaal said he was hoping for a good turnout from farmers at the protests in Wellington today, Hamilton on Wednesday, Auckland on Friday and Whangarei on Saturday.
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