Managers pay up for licenses
Half the licensed managed investment schemes (MIS) had to pay more than the headline fee for their ticks of approval - and some were charged more than $10,000, it has been revealed.
Thursday, March 9th 2017, 6:00AM 5 Comments
by Susan Edmunds
Under the Financial Markets Conduct Act, all managers of a registered scheme had to be licensed by December 1 last year.
The FMA said the application fee for a licence for a manager of a registered scheme would be $3565, covering 25 hours work.
After that number of hours, time spent on the application would be charged at a rate of $200 plus GST per hour for FMA board members and $155 plus GST for staff.
Spokesman Andrew Park said 66 fund managers had been licensed. Of those, 31 had their licenses approved within the 25 hours.
The other schemes were charged fees ranging from $1201 to $27,163. Four applications were charged more than $10,000. The median additional cost was $4045.50.
“Where more time was needed, the FMA charged an hourly rate to complete the assessment. This often reflected complex business models, our need for more information, a failure to meet the minimum standards or changes made mid-application,” he said.
“This was not a sit down three-hour exam exercise. We worked with applicants where necessary and possible to enable them to demonstrate they had met the minimum standards required to achieve a licence.”
Advisers may soon go through a licensing process of their own. The Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill proposes entity licensing for advice businesses.
Barry Read, of IDS, said if advisers wanted to reduce the amount of time – and extra money – spent on licensing, they would need to make sure their application was complete and met requirements before it was submitted.
He said larger organisations’ applications were likely to take longer because they were more complex.
“This seems fair to me that smaller licence-holders pay less than larger organisations.
“Advisers who haven't been involved in a licensing process with the FMA are unlikely to understand how the process and fees work yet. Though the standard fee may be the same for all financial advice providers, you would expect a licence covering 100 advisers with multiple layers of management or governance would pay more for the extra work to assess the application than a licence for a single adviser entity where the adviser is the director of the company.”
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