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[Weekly Wrap] Is it a case of banks versus advisers?

While speaking to ANZ's head of wealth John Body this week, I asked him how it is that banks can cater to so many KiwiSaver members with relatively few AFAs.

Friday, June 28th 2013, 1:09PM 4 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

It seems to me that if a financial adviser were to try to take on that many clients, on a per head basis, they would very quickly come under the scrutiny of the FMA.

Body said it was a "good question" but then batted it away somewhat by saying OnePath is able to use ANZ's size to achieve economies of scale and produce online tools.

He said the looming growth of both funds under management in KiwiSaver and Kiwis' interest in their accounts would create the need for more advice. He said banks would cater for the lion's share of that but that there would continue to be a place for independent advisers - they would just need to work out how to seek out those clients who wanted independent advice.

It ties in a bit with some of the other discussions that have been going on, on the site this week. When most Kiwis have $50,000 in their KiwiSaver accounts, they're going to want some advice on that. But are they going to go to an independent adviser who is charging a fee for service, as has been suggested should be the way?  Or will they gravitate towards the banks that will likely lump their KiwiSaver accounts in with their other banking?

Mike Naylor said earlier this week that he thinks investment commissions are on the way out - and soft commissions for the rest of the industry won't be far behind them. He said the fact that the industry still deals in them, and virtually every provider offers them, makes us "cowboyish". 

Commenters weighed in and said he wasn't doing anything to help the underinsurance problem - and many sales people are incentivised with soft commissions.

In other news, we've now heard from several sources that self-managed super funds could be the way of the future in New Zealand, and less than half the advisers licensed to provide discretionary investment management services are actually doing so.

On the insurance front, debate is still raging over Sovereign's latest commission deal. For home loan borrowers and the advisers who deal with them, the latest speech out of the Reserve Bank has provided food for thought. There are also movements on the people front and new jobs listed.

 

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Comments from our readers

On 28 June 2013 at 5:49 pm sMiles said:
...'they [investment advisers] would just need to work out how to seek out those clients who wanted independent advice.' This is a most important question for independent investment advisers.
In the reverse though, how does an investor seek out an independent investment adviser? Is it too difficult because there are no satisfactory indicators? It all looks the same from the investor point of view. One investment adviser looks very much like every other investment adviser.
So, in confusion, are investors left to go for the safe harbour of the biggies? The question for independent investment advisers, is how can they as a group differentiate themselves from the biggies? A solution is needed.
On 1 July 2013 at 11:27 am Mike King said:
I was recently asked by a client with substantial cash to invest to refer him to an AFA. We then discussed both my recommendation and others he had received. In the end, it transpired that he would be significantly better off - in terms of reliability of advice AND a significant level of recourse in the event of something going pear-shaped - by using a well-qualified, experienced and recommended adviser who is backed by a large QFE.
On 1 July 2013 at 11:41 am Mac said:
Maybe the FMA could fund a major media promotion listing the names of all AFAs and contact details. The FMA can fund this by fining the QFEs for their recent blatant compliance breaches.
On 1 July 2013 at 2:51 pm AFA Muggins said:
A publicly available register of unaligned AFAs.

It's going to be a short list, and I'm all for it.

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AIA - Back My Build 6.19 - - -
AIA - Go Home Loans 8.74 7.14 6.75 6.39
ANZ 8.64 7.74 7.39 7.25
ANZ Blueprint to Build 7.39 - - -
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ANZ Special - 7.14 6.79 6.65
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BNZ - Mortgage One 8.69 - - -
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China Construction Bank - 7.09 6.75 6.49
China Construction Bank Special - - - -
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special - 6.79 - -
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Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.49 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
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Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 8.90 7.60 7.40 -
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HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special - - - -
Kiwibank 8.50 7.99 7.79 7.55
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Resimac - Specialist Clear (Alt Doc) - - 8.99 -
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SBS Construction lending for FHB - - - -
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Median 8.64 7.19 7.17 6.65

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