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Advisers’ role in the National Strategy for Financial Capability

Minister Clark has presented the National Strategy for Financial Capability to Parliament, Good Returns asks where do advisers fit into the overall plan?

Monday, April 19th 2021, 6:57AM 10 Comments

by Daniel Smith

The strategy – a result of a collaboration between the FMA and the CFFC – was presented to Parliament on March 15.

Its key aims: to align New Zealand’s financial community, to better serve Kiwis and to make sure that they understand money.

Tom Hartmann, communications manager at the CFFC says that financial advisers have a crucial part to play in the Government's strategy for providing financial capability to all New Zealanders.

“The vision is for New Zealanders to understand money, because of that financial advisers obviously have a key role to play.

“Both in their everyday activities, but the more advisers that provide their experience and expertise to other organisations the more effective this strategy is going to be.”

Hartmann believes that the skills that advisers have built up over years of engaging with New Zealanders and their finances are crucial for the strategy’s objectives and success.

“Advisers have a huge role to play in demystifying money. They are on the front lines of helping people cut through jargon, and helping people realise the long-term effects of their decisions.”

Part of the strategy is bringing financial knowledge to government-defined “priority audiences” that often do not receive help with their finances, such as women, Māori and Pasifika.

According to Hartmann these are communities that could greatly benefit from the knowledge base of advisers.

“We are pro-advice and we want to see the value that financial advisers bring expanded to as wide a base as possible.

“Obviously we know there are commercial constraints to making that work but overall we would like to see advisers bring their expertise to those key audiences.”

Hartmann says that it is important for advisers to realise that they are part of something bigger.

“Advisers should see themselves as part of the financial capability community. The more they are able to be involved the more effective this strategy will be.

“There could not be a strategy for financial capability that does not include financial advisers.”

Read more about the National Strategy for Financial Capability HERE.

Tags: CFFC financial capability FMA

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Comments from our readers

On 19 April 2021 at 8:21 am Murray Weatherston said:
Can anyone enlighten us as to what discussions occurred between FMA and advisers and the adviser associations and/or CFFC and advisers and the adviser associations in the lead up to the announcement of this policy.
Especially given advisers are so "crucial for the strategy's outcomes and success".
On 19 April 2021 at 9:55 am John Milner said:
I'm always interested to read a statement such as “Obviously we know there are commercial constraints to making that work but overall we would like to see advisers bring their expertise to those key audiences.” What does that actually mean?

With compliance continuing to ramp up, as a business owner, providing a social service is far from my mind. But enough about KiwiSaver.

As far as I'm concerned, like most advisers, I have spent my three decade career educating the public. So I do find it condescending that the CFFC, who have been around for 5 minutes, believe we advisers have a part to play.
On 19 April 2021 at 10:09 am w k said:
murray, i've said this before, and i'll say it again. decisions as to what they're going to do were already pretty much made up way before "consultations" or "feedback" from advisers.
the "communications" with advisers were just going through the motion, a requirement which otherwise they won't even bother.
advisers are treated like nothing but a bunch of numbers to fulfill their agendas.
so, i wasn't a bit surprised at what's happening.
On 20 April 2021 at 8:17 am Pragmatic said:
Agree with Murray - it should be easy to produce evidence to support the statement around adviser consultation (assuming that this occurred).
On 20 April 2021 at 10:01 am JaneWrightson said:
Hi all. To clarify, the CFFC spent six months talking to a large number of orgs and people in the sector.

No decisions were made until after then, and we workshopped throughout to check we were on the right track
(I wasn't at all sure we should even try to get a new Nat Strat but feedback was really consistent that it's a job worth doing).

There's a consultation list at the end of the online version of the strategy here

As we stressed at the launch this is only the beginning. If you have concerns please do contact me or your association.

Far from 'condescending' the CFFC is genuinely trying to pull together all the players in a way that helps us all. Advisors are a crucial part of this. Thanks for your interest.
On 20 April 2021 at 2:39 pm Murray Weatherston said:
I had read the abbreviated list on the initial paper before asking my question - GR1 is not to ask a question unless you think you know the answer.
I have now had a look at the more complete list at the referenced url and my question remains - where were the advisers and adviser associations.
The list consulted included NZBA and FSC, the 5 main banks, a large fund manager, Government departments and quangoes, 2 external disputes resolution services, a considerable number of budget services, Maori organisations - but not much obvious Pasifika.
I can understand why our organisation SIFA with its 50 odd members might not have made the cut. But what about Financial Advice New Zealand representing what over 1500 advisers, some of the bigger aggregator groups.
Advisers are alleged to be critical to the successful delivery of the strategy.
So why weren't they invited to the table?
On 20 April 2021 at 4:56 pm JaneWrightson said:
Hi again. I'm sure FANZ were but we probably didn't follow up assiduously enough in the scramble of webinars and convos in and after the lockdowns.
My apologies. I'm hoping to engage with all the main sector groups as we look for the right governance options for the strategy, and will definitely be contacting Katrina. Thanks for this.
On 21 April 2021 at 9:00 am Financial Advice NZ said:
Good morning. For clarification. Financial Advice NZ was invited to attend the consultation meetings and in fact did attend the meetings proudly representing financial advisers in the sector.
On 22 April 2021 at 2:52 pm MPT Heretic said:
But Murray.... your list of orgs would presumably cover most of the 23030 FA and Nom Reps currently registered. Unfortunately the days of FANZ and SIFA representing the majority of 'advisers' as defined by the politicians and regulators is well gone
On 22 April 2021 at 3:25 pm Murray Weatherston said:
@MPT Heretic
I don't count the bank people as advisers. I think they are just salesmen and saleswomen. I've yet to hear of anyone going into an ANZ to discuss mortgages and coming out with a Westpac mortgage or anyone going into a BNZ to discuss Kiwisaver and coming out with an ASB Kiwisaver.

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