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Investment News

Task force releases options paper

The Financial Intermediaries task force has released a consultation paper setting out the issues the task force has identified from its first round of consultation and looking at options to address those issues

Monday, May 23rd 2005, 2:21PM
Task force chair Michael Webb said responses to the task force’s issues phase consultation were generally in support of some change to the regulatory regime and that key themes emerged.

“What we’ve done now is looked at those themes emerging from the various responses we received and set out a range of options to address them,” Webb says.

“We do not believe this is an industry in crisis but we do believe there are issues to be addressed.

These particularly relate to:

  • the information consumers have available to them about financial advisers and other intermediaries, and consumers’ abilities to assess that information;
  • the standards applicable to intermediaries, including in relation to minimum standards and conflicts of interest; and
  • consumer redress, sanctions, and enforcement – including how disputes get resolved, what remedies do consumers have, and how obligations are enforced.

“If these issues are properly addressed, we see a better functioning industry with which consumers can engage with greater confidence. This, in turn, can encourage greater use of financial intermediaries where that is appropriate.

The paper discusses possible changes in three main areas:

  • Enhanced consumer information
  • Enhanced redress, enforcement and sanctions
  • Enhanced standards.

The paper then canvasses various options for regulatory mechanisms to implement changes decided upon. The options canvassed are:

  • General legal standards
  • Registration
  • Restriction of Occupational Designations
  • Licensing.

In considering these options, Webb said the challenge is that any reform be effective, proportionate and workable, with any unnecessary costs of regulation avoided.

Webb said the task force had taken a functional approach in looking at the financial intermediary industry, asking what sorts of roles do those people who provide financial advice or marketing services undertake.

“We are very interested in hearing the views of consumers and the industry on the proposals in the paper. We will be holding consultation meetings in various locations during the consultation period and we hope to hear from many people. Feedback will significantly contribute to our assessment of the most appropriate responses to the matters in this paper.

Submissions close on 20 June.

To read an excerpt from the paper, the summary section, CLICK HERE

The full paper is available at http://financialadvisers.med.govt.nz. Hard copies available by calling 0508 TASK FORCE.

Schedule of consultation meetings

Date & Time

Location

Venue

31 May 2005, 10am-12pm

Auckland

Copthorne Hotel Harbourcity, 196 - 200 Quay St, Auckland Central

31 May 2005, 3pm-5pm

Hamilton

SKYCITY Hamilton, 346 Victoria Street, Hamilton

1 June, 11am-1pm

Tauranga

Baycourt, Durham Street, Tauranga

7 June, 10am-12pm

Wellington

State Services Commission, 100 Molesworth St, Thorndon, Wellington (to be confirmed)

8 June, 10am-12pm

Christchurch

Christchurch Convention Centre, 95 Kilmore Street, Christchurch

8 June, 3.30pm-5.30pm

Nelson

Fairfield House, Trafalgar St South, Nelson

9 June, 1am-3pm

Dunedin

The Dunedin Centre, 1 Harrop Street, Dunedin

This is a media release from the Financial Intermediaries Task Force

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