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Securities Commission report throws up thorny issues

Although there appears to be general acceptance of the Securities Commission's report on regulating advisers, none of the key parties are yet offering detailed comment on its content.

Tuesday, September 4th 2001, 1:58AM

Both the Investment Savings and Insurance Association (ISI) and the Financial Planners and Insurance Advisers Association (FPIA) have publicly expressed support for the report.

Their support though is just for the fact that the commission had produced a report.

ISI chief executive Vance Arkinstall says his association has not discussed the report's contents. Consequently, he could not express an opinion on whether the ISI supported the idea of giving the Securities Commission the power to ban advisers.

"It is too early for me to say that the industry supports all the issues in (the paper)," Arkinstall says.

Likewise, the FPIA has yet to make detailed comments on the report.

"We have only just received the document and so at this stage can only comment on its general principles," chief executive Phillip Matthews says. "While we support the general thrust of the suggested disclosure changes we would be much more cautious on the other issues raised in section 8 of the paper."

The issues raised in section 8 include licensing or regulation, making it compulsory for advisers to join a professional body, giving a term like 'certified financial planner' statutory protection, know your client rules and rules around cold calling and telephone solicitation.

Securities Commission chief executive John Farrell says the report has left a few thorny issues for the industry to decide.

One of those includes the question of whether all material benefits paid (or given to advisers, should be disclosed.

In its report the commission says concerns have been expressed that the present requirements to disclose may be too limiting.

It suggests that advisers could possibly be more clear in declaring things like trail commissions, last resort financing. While it doesn't specifically list it, disclosure may also cover other payments or incentives made by product providers to advisers including overseas trips and gifts.

New Zealand is not alone in looking at this issue. Currently it is also a live issue in the highly-regulated United Kingdom market.

« News Round UpSovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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