The importance of being compliant

The measures necessary to maintain financial adviser authorisation have been outlined by Kensington Swan partner and Code Committee member David Ireland and IBANZ CEO Gary Young.

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 7:28AM

Speaking at the Professional Advisers Association (PAA) conference, Ireland stressed the importance of keeping within the rules in the wake of Financial Markets Authority (FMA) action against Bernard Whimp.

"I'm hoping come July 1 there isn't a high profile action against an adviser," Ireland said.

In his address he spelt out what advisers must do to maintain registration, such as keeping up with the yet-to-be decided levy obligations and maintaining membership of a disputes resolution scheme (DRS).

He also stressed the importance of disclosure obligations as one of the key methods of avoiding regulatory scrutiny further down the track, especially the importance of disclosing services you don't provide.

"What you don't do is almost as important as what you do do," he said.

This was especially important with investment services, with Ireland giving the example of investment monitoring as a service where disclosure must be clear to avoid client complaints.

IBANZ CEO Gary Young also spoke about the importance of good record keeping, especially with regard to brokers trust accounts and clients money.

"You must be able to account for that money very carefully," he said.

"You have to make sure everybody knows where it is."

He said advisers must ensure their Adviser Business Statement (ABS) is kept up to date and with regard to maintaining competence it is "vital" records are kept to provide a paper trail.

He also stressed that advisers cannot switch between AFA and RFA standards, no matter what services they were providing.

"Once you're authorised, you're authorised for everything you do at that level."

Young said that the FMA has a wide range of powers at its disposal, including the power to obtain search warrants, and that, "sooner or later you can expect them to come knocking at the door."

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