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After April Fools Day, the smart numbers

With the April 1 deadline for financial adviser registration having passed, “the days of casualness are gone,” said Professional Advisers Association (PAA) chief executive Edward Richards.

Tuesday, April 5th 2011, 6:47AM

by Benn Bathgate

Richards was speaking on the eve of the April 1 deadline when, under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008, all financial service providers, including financial advisers, have to be registered with the Companies Office and signed up to a disputes resolution scheme (DRS).

Edwards said the PAA supported the goal of increased professionalism in the financial advisory sector, but acknowledged the extra burden regulation placed on advisers.

"I strongly support that [regulation] because we do want good people in the industry," he said.

"If you're half-hearted about it, now is the time to change that attitude or get out. You've got to be serious about your processes and systems, you can't be casual about that at all - those days are gone - forever."

Figures from three of the main DRS providers, the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman (ISO), Financial Disputes Resolution (FDR), and Financial Services Complaints Ltd. (FSCL) have revealed 5,450 advisers have signed up.

The Banking Ombudsman also runs a DRS but was unable to provide figures for adviser numbers.

The Securities Commission and training organisation ETITO also released figures last week outlining the number of AFAs and the number of advisers going through the examination process.

The Securities Commission figures revealed 292 advisers have qualified for AFA status, 1335 are being processed and 1627 have applied for authorisation so far.

Figures from ETITO revealed that as of March 28, 2622 advisers had sat and passed the Standard Set B examination - the best indicator of AFA numbers.

A total of 3050 advisers are booked for the Standard Set B, while 1022 are booked for the Standard Set C and 328 have completed the assessment.

ETITO also revealed a total of 4560 advisers are registered with the training organisation.

Benn Bathgate is a business reporter for ASSET and Good Returns, email story ideas to benn@goodreturns.co.nz

« Advisers get extension, but some don't want oneAdviser regulation offers ‘fantastic’ opportunities: OnePath »

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