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Handful of DIMS applications received

[UPDATE, adds FMA response] Just five applications for class licences for discretionary investment management services (DIMS) have been received by the Financial Markets Authority so far.

Wednesday, February 25th 2015, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Only one – to Gareth Morgan Investments – has been granted.

New DIMS providers had to have a licence as of December 1.

Those already authorised for DIMS who wish to continue to offer DIMS must apply for a licence by May 31.

Most advisers’ DIMS are expected to count as class, including those who use any kind of model portfolio.

Murray Weatherston, of SIFA, the industry body that has been engaging with the regulator on the new DIMS regulations, said the FMA had been warned not to expect applications to come in quickly.  “But there is only about three months left [to apply]. They’ll have to do something soon.”

The FMA had indicated it had the capacity available for licences applications to start flooding in, he said, and had geared up to meet demand. He said the indication was that those who applied early would get more care and attention than those who applied lately.

“But the impression I get as time has worn on is that people have looked at it and a number of advisers have said ‘do we need to be in the DIMS space?’”

He said many of the advisers who had been authorised to offer DIMS previously would have only used it in rare occasions. “Now they’ll think if we have to get approval from clients all the time, so be it.”

Mike Naylor, of Massey University, was unsurprised by the small number of applications.

“Under the current regulation the DIMS reward/risk ratio has drastically worsened. Very few in the industry would have the demonstrable skills to run a DIMS.”

An FMA spokeswoman said: "The FMA is engaging with some advisers who are working through the application process, many of these are for class DIMS licenses. We expect the rate of applications to increase as we get closer to the May 2015 deadline.”

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