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Faafoi: I'll listen to concerns

New Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi says he's aware that small advice firms are worried they will lose out under the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill.

Tuesday, October 31st 2017, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Faafoi will be the minister in charge of the new bill, which will reform the laws that govern financial advisers in this country.

The bill has been introduced to Parliament.

Faafoi said the Labour Party's former Commerce and Consumer Affairs spokesman, Michael Wood, had flagged concerns from the industry that there would be a negative effect on smaller operators.

Wood had indicated those were valid concerns, Faafoi said. He said he would talk to officials about that and what might be able to be done about it.

Faafoi said it was important that there was competition in the financial advice market and consumers had choice.  He was yet to have a full briefing on the topic, he said. "It's still early days."

Faafoi was not concerned at the level of regulation on financial advisers, compared to other jurisdictions. "As long as the protection is there for consumers, there will be varying opinions on whether it's strong enough."

A situation where there were only big players would not be good for the market and could create issues around the quality of advice, he said.

Faafoi said the fact he was outside cabinet was not an indication that the government was not concerned about the commerce portfolio.

He said the concern FSLAB's progress could be delayed was a valid one. The government had made a clear commitment to work on housing, health and education in its first 100 days.

It has been suggested that could mean the bill is pushed down the priorities and will not meet its initial target of becoming law by mid-next year.

Faafoi said he would also want to take time to fully understand any concerns around the bill. But those working on it would "get their skates on if need be," he said.

Tags: financial advisers FSLAB regulation

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