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Industry bodies say FAB is ok

The Financial Advisers Bill (FAB) as proposed in the final select committee report released this week has been rated as a pass by advisory industry bodies. Murray Weatherston, head of the Society of Independent Financial Advisers (SIFA), said the select committee model for the advisory industry was “better than it could’ve been”.

Friday, September 12th 2008, 6:14AM

by David Chaplin

“There’s much greater equity for authorised advisers [in the new proposals],” Weatherston said. “The proof of the pudding, though, will be in what we have to do to become authorised.”

He said the proposed ‘Financial Advisers Commissioner’, (FAC) which would be an influential position under the coming regime, could work as long as the appointed person wasn’t the sole “rule-maker, policeman and penalty-giver”.

Dave McMillan, head of the Professional Advisers Association (PAA), also said the FAC appointee would be crucial to the smooth working of the proposed legislation.

“If [the FAC] is someone who will listen to the industry then there shouldn’t be a problem,” McMillan said. “But if it’s someone who knows all the answers already...”

He also said the relegation of “pure” life insurance advisers to the simple, or Category 2, product level would cause a further splintering of the industry between risk and investment advisers.

According to McMillan, many risk advisers would choose to focus on simple life products and ditch their involvement in whole of life, superannuation and KiwiSaver advice.

IFA president, Lyn McMorran, agreed that the proposed legislation would accentuate the divide between investment and insurance advice.

“Some people will make the leap to [dealing in complex investment advice] while others will stick to their knitting,” McMorran said.

She said while the IFA would have preferred the legislation to focus on the advice process rather than product categories the current proposals “are a good middle ground”.

“We can work within it [the FAB proposals],” McMorran said. “But it’s the beginning not the end.”

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