The Wrap: Bill gets yes, PAA gets no

We weren’t sure it was going to happen this side of the new year but this week the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill had its first reading in Parliament.

Friday, December 8th 2017, 12:00PM

It was something of a surprise, given the bill was originally buried a long way down the parliamentary to-do list. Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi had warned that there were other priorities for the government – health, housing and education, primarily.

But there it was on Thursday afternoon. Every MP who spoke was in favour of the bill, and both sides tried to claim credit for it.

Some advisers may take heart from comments from Faafoi and his colleague Michael Wood that highlighted they are aware of concerns that the new rules may be onerous for small businesses. Wood also said he had heard about worrying incentives offered by product providers to their salespeople.

In other news, the Financial Services Council suffered a financial blow as a result of the fallout from the MJW study on insurance commissions. Its annual report also highlighted that it is working through its plans to integrate with Workplace Savings NZ, which chief executive Richard Klipin also oversees,  by mid next year.

The association said things were looking up as it got back on track. The members who resigned in protest have rejoined and everyone will be paying their member fees at the normal rate again this year.

The PAA was also putting a positive spin on what can only be described as a very strange meeting result.

Members were asked to sign off on the trust deed for the Holiday Home Legacy Trust, which is worth about $2m.  Some dissension is to be expected but even PAA board members, who you'd think would have had a say in drafting the deed, voted against it. Now there’s another period of consultation to work through before they try again.

Interestingly, president Bruce Cortesi acknowledged the trust could be used to help Financial Advice NZ in its work, something with PAA chief executive Rod Severn seemed to dismiss outright earlier in the year.

Tags: Commission Financial Advice New Zealand financial advisers Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill FSC FSLAB Kris Faafoi MJW PAA Rod Severn workplace savings nz

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