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AMP refuses to front up on commissions in NZ

AMP NZ is being coy as to whether it will follow its Australian counterpart in severing commissions for financial planners and advisers, saying the Ripoll report has a “unique context.”

Tuesday, December 1st 2009, 5:35AM

by Paul McBeth

Last week, AMP Financial Services managing director Craig Meller welcomed the Ripoll Report's recommendation to cease commission payments from product manufacturers to help ensure advisers act in their clients' best interests. However,  a spokesperson for AMP NZ could not confirm whether the company would follow suit on this side of the Tasman.

"We keep informed about regulatory developments around the world because they offer insight into best practice and possibilities as we develop a world class investment proposition for our advisers and clients," a spokesperson said. "However we don't comment on their relevance in New Zealand as they have a unique context."

Commissions have been a contentious issue as insurers have taken a hit on their own margins in a bid to soak up advisers from their competitors, and the Consumers' Institute took another spray at the financial adviser sector last week when it called for commissions to be banned.

Consumer NZ has levelled its sights on the sector after it mystery-shopped 33 advisers and had an expert panel assess the quality of 17 investment plans, only three of which were rated good. The rest were either disappointing or rejected.

In October, Securities Commission chairman Jane Diplock signalled the Ripoll report would have an impact on New Zealand, saying it "will be the perfect moment to launch a dialogue about the regulation of financial advisers in our respective countries."

 

Paul is a staff writer for Good Returns based in Wellington.

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