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New FMA boss receptive to advisers

The FMA is well aware of the regulatory burden being placed of financial advisers and discussed the issue at board recently.

Tuesday, April 29th 2014, 6:17AM

by Philip Macalister

Recently advisers were asked to comment on two papers, one from the Ministry of Business and Innovation on DIMS and the second from the FMA on annual adviser reporting. The outcome of both of these papers will have a significant impact of the future shape of the advisory profession.

FMA chief executive Rob Everret says there is not a lot of IFA knowledge within the FMA and the organisation has to ask questions to build this up. He also says the adviser market in New Zealand is small and quite complex, particularly with the regulatory designations: AFA, RFA and QFE.

He said the board were looking at what levers it can pull to manage the burden on advisers, and it is restricted to some degree because of the regulations imposed by Parliament.

However there is unlikely to be any poilcy changes this year as it is election year.

He assure advisers the authority is listening to what advisers say: "We do listen to feedback."

Everett said the authority, on his watch, would rather consult and get things right, rather than forging ahead. He admits that sometimes it will get a black eye in this process, but he can live with that.

Increasing the number of AFAs is not part of our mandate," he says.

However he believes that if there is a "healthy and confident" market place then numbers should grow.

Everett is aware of the issue around banks taking advantage of regulatory arbitrage to sell catergory one investment products with staff who are not AFAs. "We will be talking to banks," he says.

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