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Committee members to lobby for advice strands

Members of Financial Advice New Zealand sub-committees say they plan to advocate for their advice strands as the new association is formed, and regulation overhauled.

Tuesday, January 9th 2018, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Financial Advice NZ announced the membership of its new sub-committees after Christmas. The groups, covering investment, risk, lending, insurance and financial planning, will meet in early February to develop their plans.

Former IFA president Nigel Tate is on the financial planning committee.

He said it was an opportunity for the industry to position financial planning as a distinct process separate from other advice strands.

There were about 320 individuals qualified as CFP in New Zealand but only 80 or 90 operated in true financial planning, he said. The rest were investment advisers.

"The key thing is we have to be getting the recognition of the depth and breadth of what financial planning is and what it's about, and try to get some recognition from the public and the regulators of the difference between that and investment planning."

There were too many instances where conflicting advice was given to the same client by advisers working in different disciplines - such as conflicts between insurance advice and estate planning, he said.

Tate said it was likely Financial Advice NZ would take over the IFA's relationship with the Financial Planning Standards Board, which administers the CFP - maintaining that regime in New Zealand could come under the remit of the financial planning committee. That would mean work on adviser education and standards.

Advisers Liz Koh and Tim Fairbrother are on the investment committee.

Fairbrother said it was a chance to help drive positive change for the industry as the new advice laws took effect.

Being on the committee was a chance to have a hand in shaping the upcoming regulatory changes. "It means making sure form a business point of view that we know what's happening and can future-proof ourselves. There's a bit of scaremongering going on at the moment from suppliers I deal with and companies I use, trying to tell us things I don't necessarily think are going to be happening."

It would be important that all advisers met set competence requirements, he said.  Financial planners and investment advisers were sometimes in the position where their mistakes could cost multiple clients multimillion-dollar sums, he said, whereas a mistake by a risk adviser would typically only affect one client.

Koh said she was approaching the new role with an open mind.  She said she hoped the committee could be a group advisers could go to if they identified an issue that needed to be explored, or wanted advocacy on. "I don't think [investment advisers] will be lost in the crowd but it's definitely good to have a committee just for investment, otherwise that would happen."

READ MORE: Financial Advice NZ acknowledges frustrations

Tags: CFP Financial Advice New Zealand IFA investment Lending Nigel Tate regulation risk

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