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Old approach won't always stack up

Cases such as Brian Ferguson's public warning highlight that old ways of thinking may not work in the new advice regime, Partners Life's general manager of product, Steve Wright, says.

Wednesday, December 12th 2018, 6:00AM 1 Comment

Partners Life has launched a new adviser support programme, which is designed to help advisers collate information about their business processes, to work towards entity licensing.

The first module is available now and the second will be released in February. 

Wright said there would be significant work involved for financial advisers who wanted to license their businesses as financial advice providers once the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill comes into force.

"Advisers that choose to be licensed will no doubt need a bunch of stuff to give to the FMA," he said.

"Having a look at what we think the FMA is likely to ask based on what they've asked in the past, we've put together this programme to help advisers document their processes and their businesses so that, come licensing time, they will be in a far better place to fill out a bunch of details pertaining to their businesses, push a button and create a PDF or a word document that they can continue to work on or submit to the FMA.

"Even if they choose not to [go through licensing] it's probably a good business thing to better document processes. It makes good business sense for everyone to do something like this."

He pointed to the recent public warning given by the Financial Markets Authority to adviser Brian Ferguson, who had copy-and-pasted client signatures.

This highlights how important careful consideration of conduct is now because conduct which may be long standing, and you believe justified, even required by the client, could be the unacceptable.  

He said it seemed that most adviser businesses would seek a licence.

But that would mean a light being shone on some parts of the industry that previously had come in for less attention.

"With thew new regime and the new code applying to insurance advisers, there will be things they constantly need to remind themselves about what's appropriate conduct and what isn't."

Advisers who want to become involved with the programme can discuss it with their Partners Life sales manager.

Information submitted through the programme is confidential and not visible to the insurer.

“It’s a service we’re providing to help them transition through to a more formalised regime. We think it strikes the right balance between the necessary level of technical complication without making it too difficult," Wright said.

Tags: financial advisers Partners Life

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Comments from our readers

On 12 December 2018 at 8:31 am MediCare said:
Thanks Steve for a thoughtful and moderate comment. I know Brian and the fact was that the client was happy.

For the sake of convenience an administrative corner was cut. There was no intention to defraud either the insurer or the client. Brian's public humiliation over this event serves as a warning to all of us, as it was intended to by the FMA. And fair enough. Now let's all get back to business, including Brian.

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