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Sorted denied funding for independent robo offer

Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell says the Commission for Financial Capability applied for funding to create an independent roboadvice tool but was rejected.

Wednesday, June 12th 2019, 6:00AM

The Financial Markets Authority has started issuing exemptions for providers to offer personalised roboadvice, ahead of the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act coming into force.

But so far, most interest in offering roboadvice has been from providers who then use it to direct customers to their own products.

Cigna, Kiwi Wealth, National Capital, and Nikko Asset Management have been granted exemptions. Sharesies, which offers a range of managed funds and ETFS, was given an exemption in May.

Mint Asset Management’s head of sales and marketing David Boylesaid there seemed to be a long way to go before New Zealand saw any real digital advice rather than it being used as another sales channel.

Outgoing retirement commissioner Diane Maxwell said, done right, roboadvice should help to fill the advice gap for New Zealanders, with low-cost easy access to advice.

She said the commission's Sorted had applied for funding to develop something along those lines. “We were going to try to create something that was an independent platform. Sorted goes a little bit that way but it was going to deliver a more tailored personal financial assistant but it required money and we haven’t got that at this time.”

She said there was space in the market for it because all the existing options directed people to products.

“There’s a need for an independent non-profit organisation that will give broader advice.”

It was possible that the commission could apply for funding again in future, she said.

Tags: retirement roboadvice

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