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More tiers for advisers as committee redefines bill

A permanent financial adviser representative on the Securities Commision is one of the latest options to come out of moves to reform how the sector is regulated.

Thursday, August 7th 2008, 10:41AM

by Rob Hosking

The proposal is one of several contained in the latest select committee report on the Financial Advisers Bill (FAB).

The finance and expenditure select committee has also, after numerous submissions on this issue, recommended narrowing the scope of the bill to focus on financial products, rather than on financial decisions, or have an occupational regulation approach.

Two categories of products are proposed: category one would need to be authorised by the Securities Commission and would include advice on "complex securities, or investment broking and savings, or investment planning."

Category two would not require advisers to be authorised, but they would have to comply with the basic disclosure and conduct requirements already outlined in the bill.

This category would include advice on credit, general insurance and simple securities, bank deposits and call accounts.

Under consideration is a proposal for the Securities Commission to "certify institutions who [sic] meet the standards under the bill."

This would require those institutions to be responsible for advice offered by their staff on simple products.

The committee earlier scrapped the initial co-regulatory approach, with approved professional bodies acting as the front line of oversight, in favour of the Securities Commission doing the main work. Some submitters have criticised this and the proposal to have an industry Commissioner of Financial Advisers appears to be aimed at meeting those concerns.

This commissioner would "be responsible for ongoing monitoring and disciplinary proceedings for the professional conduct of financial advisers."

The report makes no suggestions on how such a commissioner would be appointed, their qualifications, or who would do the appointing.

To read the full select committee report, click here

What do you think of these changes? Email your comments to editor@goodreturns.co.nz

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

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