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Crossan there to help the financial services sector

Trust in the financial service sector has taken a "battering" according Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan, and industry is much more willing to work with agencies such as her own to help rebuild public confidence in financial advisers.

Thursday, December 10th 2009, 6:49AM 6 Comments

by Paul McBeth

Speaking at Parliament's Social Services Committee, Crossan said the industry has been forced to take a look at itself and take on board advice from agencies like the Retirement Commission to do so.

"They've seen what's happened and asked how we can help develop a tougher financial services sector," Crossan said.

Public confidence in financial advisers took a big dent last month after a Consumer mystery shopper survey found only three of 17 financial plans prepared for the "shoppers" were up to scratch. The rest were either disappointing or rejected.

The fall-out of the survey saw two members pushed from the Code Committee appointed to draft the code of ethics for advisers after their organisations failed the survey.

One area where industry had improved was the transparency of how managers communicate with clients. Crossan helps judge the Workplace Savings NZ communication awards, and was highly critical of the submissions at last year's awards.

"I made it very clear many of the organisations actually gave really pathetic information forward for the award," she told Parliamentarians. "This year what we've seen things get better."

Crossan has advocated simplifying information for consumers, and a shake-up of the 31-year old Securities Act will focus on improving the adequacy and relevance of investor information when Commerce Minister Simon Power releases a discussion document on the legislation.

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

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Comments from our readers

On 10 December 2009 at 10:44 am Stephen O'Connor said:
Thats funny, I got the impression given the involvement in and the comments surrounding the Consumer survey that Diana was more interested in pushing her own barrow than supporting the financial services sector (particulary financial advisers). Maybe I misunderstood.
On 10 December 2009 at 11:12 am eric said:
Yeah I thought the same too. It seems the Retirement Commission is hell bent on bashing advisers and recommending everyone should be getting their advice from its website.
On 10 December 2009 at 12:57 pm Mac said:
John Key is looking to significantly reduce government agency budgets, and in some cases merging an agency with others. The CEO of the agencies are hell bent on justifying their funding levels or existence. For example, if they have $30,000 lying around, why not fund a spurious industry related survey to concoct a growing need for the agency's irreplaceable contribution to the good of the community...
On 10 December 2009 at 1:00 pm eric said:
And then write to every single MP and tell them what a great job you are doing.
On 10 December 2009 at 4:28 pm Rhys said:
Presumably her barrow is protecting the retired. The comments here merely confirm the impression of ordinary punters that financial advisers don't get how low peoples' estimation of them has fallen
On 11 December 2009 at 5:08 pm Paul said:
Sorted provides an excellent independent source of information to help educate people about financial matters. The key here is the independence as Sorted is unconnected with any product. To anyone who is in the financial advice space, it is abundantly apparent that education is essential. Most typical New Zealanders are close to financially illiterate.
Commenting is closed

 

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