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Even more disclosure rules suggested

A discussion document released yesterday by the government proposes adding to disclosure rules already in the Securities Legislation Bill currently before Parliament.

Thursday, March 23rd 2006, 6:42AM

by Rob Hosking

The new proposals require financial advisers to disclose:

  • if there is a variable product sale component to a fee or charge (for example, a commission);
  • regular updates on the difference, in gross terms, between the return on all investments and the actual net return to the client, along with an explanation of the difference;
  • the “total benefits” to the financial adviser of the client’s business, where the benefits are not already disclosed as part of the difference between gross and net return outlined above;
  • disclosure of remuneration to the adviser when advice or marketing is directed to switching products along with the cost to the client (entry and exit fees, implementation fees and the like), along with the benefits of the alternative as against the existing product.

The Ministry of Economic Development is aware that some of the information that the Taskforce suggested should be disclosed is information that investment advisers and brokers would have to rely on third parties to produce (e.g. information about product structure and the way that fees are charged).

The ministry wants to know whether matters outlined above are sufficiently covered under existing requirements in the bill or whether further prescription is required by way of regulation.

The ministry proposes that the information should be required to be given to clients in a form which can be read in 10-15 minutes, and/or within a certain number of pages, under set headings or questions, and in a certain format or text size.

Submissions close on April 21.

Get your copy of the latest Discussion Document HERE
What's already in the Bill

Rob Hosking is a Wellington-based freelance writer specialising in political, economic and IT related issues.

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