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Government may ditch APBs

The Government could drop the Approved Professional Body (APB) model in its proposed Financial Advisers legislation, leaving the Securities Commission as the sole licensing organisation.

Wednesday, April 2nd 2008, 2:53PM

by David Chaplin

According to a spokesperson for the office of Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel, there is "some thinking going on" about changes to the APB proposals but "no official policy".

A final decision on the government's adviser licensing approach is expected within a week.

In her speech announcing the introduction of the Financial Advisers Bill to Parliament earlier this year Dalziel hinted the Government was moving away from its original APB proposals.

"Issues have been raised in the interim, though, about the potential cost associated with a multiplicity of approved professional bodies, particularly in relation to disciplinary processes and consumer dispute-resolution systems," Dalziel told Parliament. "I hope the select committee takes careful note of the submissions it receives in this area, as many of the professional organisations and statutory bodies will have insights into how this might be best managed."

At the same time National MP, Simon Power, said in Parliament that the APB proposals needed closer investigation.

"There is a really interesting question as to whether a pyramid-shaped regulatory framework should exist for financial advisers-with the Securities Commission at the top of the pyramid, followed by a few or several approved professional bodies, and the consumer at the bottom-or whether we should have just a linear framework that has the Securities Commission, one approved body, and then a range of financial advisers being captured by a regulatory framework such as this legislation," Power said. "If the select committee were to adopt that model, of course, we would want to avoid-and I am sure the Minister would agree with me on this-one approved professional body capturing a monopoly and driving up commissions and the like on those investors."

A number of adviser bodies have already indicated they would form an APB once the legislation is passed. As well as the so-called G4 group of advisory bodies (the IFA, PAA, SIFA and LBA), the Investment Savings and Insurance Association (ISI), the New Zealand Mortgage Brokers Association, the NZX and the CFA Society have all flagged an intention to create separate APBs.

« Morningstar 'recommends' Fisher FundsSovereign takes regulation bull by the horns »

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