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Government questions RFAs' professionalism

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has issued a discussion document on several aspects of the Financial Advisers Act, asking questions such as: Is the RFA terminology appropriate, or should it be replaced by something less likely to imply a licensed professional status?

Tuesday, January 29th 2013, 3:35PM 17 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Financial adviser groups are preparing for a series of meetings with the Ministry.

Its consultation document also asks what weight should be put on aligning New Zealand with Australia’s Future of Financial Advice reforms, as well as what advisers think of UK moves to ban commission, whether the public values Registered Financial Advisers’ disclosure documents and whether there would be value in expanding them to cover remuneration.


Other areas outlined as being for stakeholder discussion include whether the 2011 Act has improved professionalism in the industry, what impact it has had on the low-to-mid end of investment advice, whether the “good character” tests done by the FMA go far enough, and  whether conflict of interest disclosure is adequate and whether the QFE scheme is working well.


Financial Services Council chairman Peter Neilson said the discussion points were first circulated about a fortnight ago. He is in the process of organising a response and will meet the Ministry tomorrow. He would not give any further details until his organisation’s response was finalised.


Institute of Financial Advisers chairman Nigel Tate said his organisation had booked a meeting with the Ministry. He and chief executive Penny Mudford would work on what response the organisation would offer.

« RFA irked by CPD ‘scaremongering’Fund managers call for level playing field »

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Comments from our readers

On 30 January 2013 at 2:16 pm Graeme Tee said:
Why don't they try "insurance salesman" seeing that what most RFAs do?
On 30 January 2013 at 5:49 pm insurance salesman said:
I'd be happy with that.
On 30 January 2013 at 8:06 pm another insurance salesman said:
i don't see anything wrong with that title.
On 31 January 2013 at 12:00 pm Brent said:
Being an insurance salesman is something to be proud of,however many think a fancy title will help raise their self worth. Pity that.
On 31 January 2013 at 12:10 pm yet another insurance salesman said:
What about Life Underwriter ?
Recognizing the CLU qualification should give the public some comfort if RFA doesn't !
On 31 January 2013 at 12:24 pm Graeme said:
It was the stupid Government that bought in the AFA and RFA! At one stage the model had the Noel Leeming salesman requiring to be an AFA.

Insurance Salesman ~ yuk. I am an RFA, tertiary qualified, undertake at least 35 hours of CPD each year and do not sell insurance. As a Fire and General Insurance specialist of 40 years, ex National Underwriter, ex Surveyor and ex Tutor in Risk Management I object to being called an insurance salesman. I am as much a professional as an accountant or lawyer and I dear say more professional by virtue of qualification and experience than a lot of AFAs.
On 31 January 2013 at 12:31 pm max income said:
Given the recent appalling history of AFAs the more insurance salesman can distance themselves from that so called qualification and redefine their FMA status the better.
On 31 January 2013 at 12:35 pm 6ftndr said:
I don't really care what they call me, I will always be a life insurance salesman.
On 31 January 2013 at 12:37 pm Andy said:
But I also do budget and mortgage advice... I used to be a financial consultant, then a mortgage broker. Then the law made me drop both of those and become an RFA. At the end of the day, it doesn't make a lick of difference to my clients/customers/followers/people...

Rather than trying to change names and titles, why not make sure the advice and qualifications we have are appropriate to the clients we have!

THERE'S a new concept!
On 31 January 2013 at 3:06 pm Graeme Tee said:
Given the majority of comments above, it will be interesting to see what the IFA come up with? I believe they had something to do with the whole AFA/RFA definition in the first place.
On 31 January 2013 at 3:49 pm John Honest said:
I recently parted with a tidy sum of money to have RFA status business stationery printed.
Absolutely the bureaucrats should now scrap the RFA designation. That would align perfectly with their mandate, which is to waste everyone's time and money.
Well, not quite everyone's. Assessing Regulation to date, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would score a 1 for benefit to the consumer, but a 9 for benefit to the regulators themselves, lawyers, printing firms, training organisations and various other parasitic groups all wanting an easy feed off the back of the energetic adviser.
On 31 January 2013 at 7:01 pm Amused said:
Well said John Honest. Parasitic is a very accurate description indeed!
On 31 January 2013 at 10:05 pm insurance salesman said:
Graeme I am also tertiary qualified, corporate background blah blah blah but at the end of day sell insurance cover and am proud of it - no need to hide behind fancy titles. Maybe car salesmen should be renamed RTC's - registered transportation consultants? Fun debate anyway...
On 2 February 2013 at 6:17 am Bazza said:
John Honest

It's illegal to use RFA as a designation, you need better lawyers, just saying...

On 4 February 2013 at 10:53 am Graeme said:
Thanks insurance salesman. If you sell insurance then that is fine. I do not sell insurance.
On 4 February 2013 at 12:05 pm shane said:
What do you sell then Graeme!!! OMG ,it was called insurance the last time I looked!!
On 5 February 2013 at 11:24 am insurance salesman said:
Do you talk people out of buying insurance? Give them a 50 page report and leave it with them to never make a decision?

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