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Resigned FSC members rejoin

But some insurers yet to pay the invoices sent to them for the next year's membership.

Wednesday, August 31st 2016, 6:00AM 2 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Rob Flannagan

Two high-profile resignations from the Financial Services Council have since paid their subscriptions to renew their membership.

The FSC has been in a transition period since its chief executive, Peter Neilson, resigned in February.

It came after a FSC-commissioned report by Melville Jessup Weaver that was critical of the insurance adviser distribution channel. Several of the group’s insurer members quit in protest.

Now, chairman Rob Flannagan said things were moving in a positive direction for the group and it was keeping a focus on the future.

He was expecting the resigned insurers to change their stance.  AIA, Partners Life, Fidelity Life, Sovereign, AMP and Asteron all announced their decisions to quit last year.

Sovereign and AMP have since renewed their memberships for another year.

Fidelity Life is also back around the table. Its acting chief executive, Ed Eadie, said the industry needed a thriving body to promote it.

"With the current levels of regulatory activity it is imperative that the life insurance industry has a strong voice and it is Fidelity Life’s view that the FSC still has an important role to play. At Fidelity Life we are committed to addressing underinsurance and ensuring that Kiwis have access to relevant financial advice. To those ends we are willing to work with the other providers to help achieve this goal."

But others are still holding back.

Partners Life managing director Naomi Ballantyne said she was still waiting to see what the FSC would be.

AIA chief executive Natalie Cameron said she too was still waiting for more information. She said she had received her July invoice but it had not yet been paid.

“I was hoping that there may be some changes that would help us ensure that independent advisers have a voice in that forum, and that we could continue to contribute to and receive the benefits of industry statistics and common responses on government submissions, for example.  I have not had any contact on that but remain hopeful of some changes in the future.”

Flannagan said it was advertising for a chief executive. Owen Gill, who heads up both the FSC and Workplace Savings, is on a contract that expires in October.

He said talks about a potential merger of the two groups were continuing, with another meeting within the next couple of weeks.

Tags: FSC

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Comments from our readers

On 31 August 2016 at 7:36 am Pragmatic said:
OK – so to repeat:
Industry body commissions report on industry
Members don’t like report and resign in protest
Industry body CEO forced to resign over findings in the report
Estranged members re-sign to industry body
…so what have we learnt?
On 1 September 2016 at 2:49 pm RS said:
Pragmatic: Be more careful with scrutiny of report writers, including terms of references, and most especially, competence of the organisation providing such reports in the first place.

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