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Commerce Committee Chair has misgivings about QFE extension

Commerce Committee chairman Lianne Dalziel voiced her concerns about the government's proposed extension allowing advisers to be nominated representatives of multiple Qualifying Financial Entities (QFEs).

Monday, May 10th 2010, 7:19AM 7 Comments

by Paul McBeth

During a submission from the New Zealand Bankers' Association, Dalziel said she had "very real doubts about the extensions in this area - we shouldn't be moving away from what we want to protect."

Her comments came after Institute of Financial Advisers President Lyn McMoran had earlier indicated her own concerns about the extension of the QFE regime. She said it would limit the viability of advisers being truly independent by giving their competitors who were in multiple QFES an advantage by reducing their costs.

"We're seeing product providers in the market trying to get advisers under their umbrella," she said. "If you get advisers under many QFEs, who will be taking responsibility for their competence?"

Susan Guthrie of the Consumer Institute was also critical of the QFE changes, saying the exemption for nominated advisers lacked any transparency, with corporate companies able to negotiate the terms of their application with the Securities Commission in a one-on-one basis.

Guthrie's submission called for a pause to the legislation, saying it had failed to address the real problem, which was a complete transformation of the retail adviser market.

"The market has failed to deliver what consumers want," she told the committee.

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

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Comments from our readers

On 10 May 2010 at 11:35 am Tony said:
Surprised at Dalziels comments when her lot was in power for 9years and Mum and Dad investors asked for help ,when their investments were going South,It has been alleged that DALZIELS comments were "NO PROBLEM THEY ARE RICH PEOPLE"
On 10 May 2010 at 6:19 pm David Whyte said:
Tony - maybe so, but Dalziel's comments are on the money, and the fact that the Consumer Institute is now openly declaring that consumers will not be well served by the regulations environment confirms that this attempt is descending into a total shambles. The extension will merely encourage movement toward QFEs and reduce the choice a consumer has in their selection of financial adviser. From the outset, the whole concept of a QFE had nothing to do with the consumer and everything to do with the capacity of the Securities Commission to discharge their responsibilities and to ensuring that the corporate product providers were accommodated. Put simply - it's wrong-headed. Corporate lawyers are not exempt from having an LLB - so why should advisers retained by corporate entities be exempt from individual authorisation. Sorry - far from being a model which overseas jurisdictions are looking to copy, this latest botched effort will make NZ a laughing stock. As I've said before, the Aussie experience was tough but not hard to understand - this confusion is rapidly becoming both tough and difficult to follow. It seems that regulators the world over lack the wit to do anything other than cater for the lowest common denominator, and as soon as a financial scandal breaks - usually in the investement space - everyone who dares to talk about finance gets clobbered with un-necssary, bureaucratic, claptrap like this. Rules and regulations drafted by individuals who have no understanding of the market, and who react to crises rather than look at a systemic analysis to identify the problematic areas and address accordingly.
1. Get rid of this nonsensical QFE status and have all financial advisers authorise, irrespective of their relationship with product providers.
2. Get rid of Category 1 and/or Category 2 products - it's now become meaningless anyway. It should always have been about the application of the products, not their so-called complexity.

3. Set a Standard Curriculum with Standard Examinations for advisers to pass. Having education providers set their own courses and their own examinations is another piece of bureacratic incompetency.

4. Dispense with the need to register with the Companies Office. Registering with the Securities Commission as an AFA should be sufficient.

Just some suggestions to stop the muffled laughter overseas.
On 10 May 2010 at 8:36 pm LPL said:
David your comments are quite correct. The comparison to the legal profession is a good one.
The proposed regime will also create confusion, and possibly even mis-placed comfort, I believe, for the very public it is supposed to protect.
On 11 May 2010 at 8:13 am norman said:
Comparison with the legal profession is invalid.
Lawyers are accountable to bodies they elect, in contestable elections. Part of their professionalism is a fidelity fund to compensate aggrieved parties. AFA's will be subject for all time to the whim of unelected bureaucrats - and those of hitherto inept and discredited body. Expensive cost will be usurped by that bureaucracy, rather than being available as a price signal, or compensation for victims.
The AFA regime is more akin to Dog Registration.

On 11 May 2010 at 8:45 am Independent Observer said:
David - your comments are correct

The NZ Regulator is out of their depth... and have been so for some time.

It's well past time for adults to take over
On 12 May 2010 at 7:23 pm wk said:
Re: David Whyte. Agreed.
The whole system could have been simplified. Eg, have a certificate for those wanting to practice the respective class of business - life & health, fire & general, investment and mortgage/lending. Each certificate to cover the 4 main areas - administration, product knowledge, practice & compliance and law relating to the respective business.
They cannot call themselves financial advisors, specialists, planners, etc. Just simply life & health advisor, specialists, etc. or mortgage advisor, planner, etc. In otherwords, the word financial or finance cannot be used in the title at all.
To be a financial planner, that is one who is able to use the financial or finance title, one will have to do all the mentioned 4 certificates plus basic taxation, estate planning (Wills & Trusts, etc) and economics. This followed by a 1 or 2 year internship or mentoring.
Is it all too late to change anything now?
On 14 May 2010 at 9:00 pm Regan Thomas said:
@ Norman:
Comparing to dog registration! I disagree entirely. If my dog, which is registered, starts behaving inappropriately, or bites, it could be destroyed.

No, Dog registration is something the QFE regime in its current or proposed form can only hope to emulate.
Commenting is closed



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