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Last Article Uploaded: Thursday, December 9th, 9:18AM

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Transitional licensing start date pushed back

Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi is pushing back the start of the adviser licensing regime.

Tuesday, March 24th 2020, 11:30AM

Katrina Shanks

Financial Advice New Zealand chief executive Katrina Shanks said the Government had confirmed it was working on delaying the start of the regime.

All advisers had previously been aiming for a deadline of June 29 to apply for a transitional licence.

More details would be available in the coming days.

Shanks has been advocating for the delay, given the outbreak of Covid-19 and subsequent shutdown.

She wrote to Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi, Financial Markets Authority chief executive Rob Everett and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, asking for the start to be pushed back until January 28, because of the pressure put on the sector by Covid-19.

Shanks said the “extraordinary circumstances” of the Covid-19 pandemic and the requirement for advisers to work through how they were going to operate after June would put “enormous pressure” on them when they needed to focus on their clients.

“It is vital financial advisers are able to focus on providing professional services to their clients and supporting them through the implications of volatile markets, insurance support and advocacy, and mortgage advice without the distractions the licensing process entails,” she wrote.

“This new pandemic environment with its multi-faceted issues that need adviser support have multiplied the adviser workload exponentially.

“We believe the combination of unprecedented business disruption for financial advisers on top of managing a significant regulatory change will create a perfect storm which has the potential to overload the sector.

“We know the trusted and valued relationship between a client and a financial adviser increases a person’s financial health, wealth and wellbeing, and our members wish to ensure these good customer outcomes continue through this time of uncertainty.”

Ryan Edwards, managing director of The Adviser Platform (TAP), said anything that could help advisers through would be a good thing.

“There is no doubt that, aside from the obvious human impact, uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 will continue to cause disruption for the economy, with the adviser market not being immune to that. TAP and the bulk of the industry has been preparing for regulatory change for several years now, and whilst we would not want any further delay to the final details of licensing and disclosure being revealed, a delay in the start time would help ease the transition during this time of uncertainty and would be welcomed by the market.”

Tags: Financial Advice New Zealand FSLAA licensing

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