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Visits, FMA and the AML

Friday, March 18th 2011, 3:47PM 2 Comments

by FMA

It was good to meet Taranaki advisers today and I’m looking forward to meeting Northland advisers next week as the roadshow draws to a close.  It will be interesting to see whether they have similar questions and comments relating to the authorisation process and the regime more generally. In recent blogs I've responded to questions about what's likely to happen in the post-licensing period and on adviser monitoring visits.  We've also issued explanatory notes on the Standard Conditions for AFAs which can be found on our website. Some have asked who will do the visits?  With regard to our monitoring staff, they are based in Auckland and Wellington but will clearly be spending a lot of time on the road covering the whole country.  Almost without exception we come from private sector financial services backgrounds including financial advice, investment management, insurance, compliance, systems and processes, accounting etc. And of course several also have regulatory experience both here and overseas. So advisers will discover during monitoring that Commission staff speak their language and understand advice models very well. Some have also asked about any impact on advisers of the transformation of the Securities Commission into the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).  In the context of financial adviser regulation – it will substantially be business as usual in coming months.  Day to day you’ll see the same people and processes, but there will be a new name appearing on business cards, media and correspondence and of course on AFA certificates because the FMA will replace the Securities Commission as the licensing authority. Financial adviser regulation will continue to be a major part of the work of the FMA which will license and supervise other areas too, such as reporting entities under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Act. The AML legislation will impact financial advisers and this is something advisers will need to start getting their heads around over the coming months (look out for invitations to a roadshow later in the year to help with this).  There will be annual reporting requirements but the good news is that it presents an opportunity to look for regulatory efficiencies - we'll aim to streamline AML compliance obligations with financial adviser reporting requirements as much as possible.  An AFA's Adviser Business Statement for example will be an ideal place to describe the adviser's client risk assessment practices for AML purposes – but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be in your first ABS!  The AML team here at the Commission is also preparing to roll out educational material to help. Mel Hewitson
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Comments from our readers

On 22 March 2011 at 10:32 am Anne Laws said:
Hi Mel, I would be interested to know when you will be in the Hamilton area. I have a number of questions I would like to raise re post regulation.
On 24 March 2011 at 7:54 am Mel Hewitson said:
Hi Anne. I visited Matamata as part of the IFA roadshow on 10 March and, although plans can change, that’s the nearest we’re likely to get to Hamilton in the immediate future. Please feel free to submit any burning questions about post regulation monitoring through to us on seccom@seccom.govt.nz. You should also keep an eye on our website which is regularly updated – although the focus of our updates for the next few months will usually be on licensing. It may also be worth contacting the IFA if you're a member since they may have answers to some of your questions if they came up at the roadshow. We hope to see your name on the list of AFAs soon.
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