About 23,000 individuals now fall under the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act (FSLAA) rules, according to the latest post-implementation official figures.
The almost-final statistics show a reasonable jump in adviser numbers and FSLAA-governed entities compared to just prior to the March 15 start date for the new regime.
Data supplied by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) show more than 3,000 entities have entered the regulatory arena comprising 1,817 licensed ‘financial advice providers’ (FAPs) and 1,200 ‘authorised bodies’ (which operate under the licence of a third-party FAP).
Earlier in March the FMA reported roughly 2,600 regulated entities, split between 1,600 transitional licensees and 1,000 authorised bodies. The approximate last-minute increase of 400 entities was also matched by a splurge of about 1,000 individual FSLAA late-arrivals.
As at last week, the regulator counted 10,750 fully fledged ‘financial advisers’ and a further 12,246 ‘nominated representatives’ – the latter designation essentially employees whose regulatory compliance responsibility falls on FAP licence-holders.
In the latest FMA monthly update, John Botica, market engagement director, says the introduction of FSLAA “has been a big change for the financial advice industry which has had to adapt, while also dealing with the impact of COVID-19”.
“It was encouraging to see so many advisers supporting their clients during the pandemic, while also adapting their business models in line with the new licensing requirements,” Botica says.
“… We now head into the next phase of the regime, with the next two years giving advisers time to meet new competence, knowledge, and skills standards under the new code.
We’re confident that the constructive spirit we’ve seen from the financial advice community will continue to help guide our thinking as we move forward.”
Unlike other FMA-licensed entities, FSLAA licensees and adviser information won’t be available on the regulator’s website.
A FMA spokesperson said the Financial Services Providers Register (FSPR) will be “the best source for the most up to date information on licensed FAPs”.
However, the FSPR search function – always a bit clunky – has been substantially reduced post FSLAA, offering limited visibility into the overall shape of the industry.
According to the FSPR website, as of March 15: “Searching for FSPs on the register will initially be limited in terms of the range of information you can use to perform a search. You can only search using details such as an FSP’s name (or part of it), their FSP number or New Zealand Business Number (NZBN). If you need to search for specific criteria, you can request that data from us.”