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Call centre company answers the QFE call

Telnet Services, the country’s largest privately owned contact centre, has announced it has become New Zealand’s first call centre to achieve Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE) accreditation.

Friday, April 8th 2011, 6:28AM 4 Comments

by Benn Bathgate

The company said becoming a QFE will make it easier to market financial products to retail customers on behalf of clients.

"We have worked hard to develop a first class training, monitoring and compliance environment at Telnet which we believe has positioned us well for obtaining QFE status," said Telnet managing director John Chetwynd.

The company provides telephone sales services for a number of financial services companies, and Chetwynd said seeking registration will enable financial service companies "to use Telnet as a partner to promote their products."

Telnet's QFE status allows it to sell Category 2 products including insurance products and consumer credit contracts such as hire purchase and loans.

Chetwynd said the company sought accreditation with expansion in mind.

"Being the only contact centre at this stage with QFE status will enhance our competitive advantage in the financial services space."

The QFE requirements oblige Telnet to ensure its telephone sales agents deliver a professional service to retail customers, something Chetwynd believes the company has always excelled at.

"We have always placed the integrity of service high on our priority list for our clients and their customers. We believe that passing the standards required of a QFE is confirmation of this."

The company had also been active in the already highly regulated Australian financial services market, experience Chetwynd believes game them an edge when looking to secure QFE status.

"The big thing that Australia did for us is that the standards and regulations are a lot tougher than in New Zealand, well it had been, so while we had pretty good compliance processes in place prior to starting in Australia we certainly needed to up our game," he said.

"I think if we hadn't done the work in Australia I doubt whether we would have progressed with the QFE in New Zealand to be honest, there would have been an awful lot of work to do from a standing start. When we looked at the New Zealand regime and compared that with what we were doing anyway they aligned up pretty well."

Benn Bathgate is a business reporter for ASSET and Good Returns, email story ideas to

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Comments from our readers

On 8 April 2011 at 9:34 am Confused said:
I thought QFE advisors could only sell products issued by that QFE?

Also, I thought that QFE advisors had to be exclusive to one QFE?

I haven't looked at the Act for a year so its probably changed, but surprised its changed to this extent.
On 9 April 2011 at 7:03 am trickydicky said:
Under the regulations QFE Advisers can provide personalised advice for any category 2 products (irresepctive of issuer), plus advice on certain category 1 products depending on the issuer/promoter. The Securities Commission page has the details:
The page also describes how QFE advisers can sell category 1 products in "partner" and "associated" QFE entities.

I assume that the QFE advisers described in the article are all "exclusively" under the (single entity) Telnet QFE, meaning that Telnet assumes responsibility under the regulation for all advice that Telnet QFE advisers give. Under the regulations there are no constraints on QFE's selling category 2 products from multiple providers - any products constraints are up to each QFE to decide on.

Seems to me that Telnet have made a smart business move all perfectly in line with the regulations.
On 9 April 2011 at 11:43 am Concerned adviser said:
The fact that a call centre can get QFE status surely makes the whole thing a bit ridiculous. What a circus. I thought we were trying improve advice or is all going to be done over the phone and skype now?
On 12 April 2011 at 7:24 am Dave said:
Any large institution can get QFE status, and it makes perfect commercial sense for a call centre to gain QFE status. This new legislation will provide opportunities for many entrepreneurs, and will see the demise of many dinosaurs.
Commenting is closed



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