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Bill won't get through this term - so what?

Labour 'can't guarantee' position of support for the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill won't change.

Monday, August 7th 2017, 6:00AM 2 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Legislation that will overhaul the rules governing financial advice has been introduced to Parliament but is unlikely to pass before the election.

The Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill is a package of changes that introduces financial adviser obligations into the Financial Markets Conduct Act.

Former FMA regulatory boss and lawyer Sue Brown said, because it was only at the first reading stage, there was a lot of parliamentary process to work through before it was passed.

"It's cutting it a bit fine to get through before Parliament rises before the election in the middle of August."

She said she expected the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to look at the transition timetable if amendments had to wait until after the election.

MBIE had signalled that the new code of conduct should be approved by mid next year and transitional licensing would open in November 2018.

Bradley Kidd, of Chapman Tripp said he did not think it was the intention to get the bill through before the election.

If it does not pass in this parliamentary term, a new government could mean changes to the bill, or a lack of support for it to  become law.

Kidd said that was not a big concern.

"Historically legislation in this area has generally had support across the whole House, and I'd be surprised if that changes. But never say never."

Labour Party lead press secretary Phil Reed said his party would support the bill at this stage, if it were to form the next government.

"At this stage we’d support to committee, remains to be seen what we’d do after that. Early days, and given the events of this week I can’t guarantee our position won’t change in the interim."

Tags: Chapman Tripp conduct financial advisers Financial Markets Conduct Act Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill FMA MoBIE

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Comments from our readers

On 7 August 2017 at 7:07 am Murray Weatherston said:
Surprised no story about the content of the Bill this morning. I assume everyone will have noticed the change from FARs to nominated representatives.

In order to promote debate, here are a number of observations of other bits of the Bill that I think are worthy of discussion. Please note my comments are E&OE.

1.Putting the client’s interests first. Bill amends “any other interest” to “associated parties” and deleted “doing anything in relation to the giving of advice” but keeps the rest of the original text. They did however change the heading of the section to “Duty to give priority to client’s interests”. Interesting.

2. Competence safe harbour for AFAs RFAs and QFE advisers - the safe harbour period will be only 2 years

3.You can’t be a financial adviser and a nominated representative at the same time, and you can’t be a nominated representative of more than one financial advice provider unless both/all are regulated under the same licence.

4.In the transition period, only ex-QFEs can have nominated representatives.

5. FADC can discipline only FAs, not nominated reps – although nominated representatives are subject to the provisions of the code excluding competence and CPT

6. If a wholesale adviser has at least 1 retail client they need to be licensed.

7.During the transition (until a full licence is obtained) Bill retains Cat 1 and Cat 2 products and personalised/class advice distinctions for former RFAs and QFE advisers [but I haven’t found where those terms are defined in FMCA]

8.Operative dates have slid out 2 months from 28 February 2019/2021 to maybe 1 May in both years.

On 7 August 2017 at 10:46 am Murray Weatherston said:
Add
9. Wholesale client - an entity with $1m net assets or $1 m turnover will no longer be a wholesale client (unless they meet one of the other FMCA exemptions). For some advisers, this might be significant.

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