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AFA applications roll in

The Financial Markets Authority is experiencing a rush of applications from those wanting to become authorised financial advisers.

Friday, November 23rd 2018, 6:00AM 4 Comments

When the new code of conduct takes effect for financial advisers, those who were AFAs under the old regime will be deemed to have met the competence requirements to continue as financial advisers.

Those who were RFAs will not, and will in most cases need to complete the level five certificate qualification, or work for a financial advice provider with the systems and processes to backfill any gaps in their knowledge.

Industry consultant Barry Read said whether it was worth qualifying as an AFA now to meet that standard was a matter for individual choice.

In most cases, the requirements would work out the same, he said. Those wanting to become an AFA would need level five, anyway.

“It’s an option that could be considered… the proof of competence will be the same for an AFA as for a financial adviser working for a FAP.”

He said if it looked likely that there would be pressure to get numbers through under the new regime, qualifying earlier could be beneficial to beat the rush.

“There’s no disadvantage. If you want to do it, do it, if you want to wait and see then that’s okay too because the transitional period will be two years for the competence piece.”

Those who thought they might work under another financial advice provider's licence could wait for more information on how those competence requirements would be enacted, he said.

An FMA spokesman said it was seeing a higher number of applications than usual.

But that was not necessarily only because of the looming regulatory changes.

“The code of conduct for AFAs that came into force on 1st December 2016 included the transition measure that the old National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) (Level 5) certificate would continue to be recognised for authorisations up until 1st January 2019. (code standard 16)

“This issue was highlighted by the FMA in our FMA updates from April 2018, and we asked for applications based on this to be submitted no later than 1st November 2018.”

Tags: AFA financial advisers FMA

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Comments from our readers

On 23 November 2018 at 6:55 am Murray Weatherston said:
Clarification anyone?
In the context of the perhaps 10,000 or so people who will want to be "financial advisers" in the new regime, can anyone throw light on the actual number of AFA applications that are "roll[ing] in".
I'm not familiar with the exact magnitude of a "rush" as used in the first sentence - is it 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 or even more?
On 25 November 2018 at 10:38 pm henry Filth said:
I'm a simple mug punter.

What use will the never-ending multiplicity of ever-changing acronyms be to me?

How will it help me? In fact will it help me? Or do I just have to go through the same old process of interviewing candidates until I find one I like?
On 27 November 2018 at 1:32 pm Keith Walter said:
"Those who were RFAs will not"?
This presumes that no RFAs currently hold level 5 certification which I know for a fact is untrue.

What's more, if there is a "rush" and, like Murray, I would like to see some evidence by way of numbers,I would suggest this is as a result of scaremongering from institutions with a vested interest in training and exams - same as last time.
On 27 November 2018 at 8:34 pm Murray Weatherston said:
A question I have often pondered.

If I was to peddle either innocently or deliberately (it doesn't matter which) things about what FMA/MBIE/CWG was or wasn't going to do that were obviously incorrect, would the relevant regulator have any duty to correct that incorrect information, or would they be OK with just letting my mistakes run?

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