Fund managers will be among those industry participants invited to discuss the future of financial advice this month in a ‘summit’ proposed by the Professional Advisers Association (PAA).
According to Bruce Cortesi, PAA chair, invitations to the ‘Summit on accessibility of advice’ are being sent out to stakeholders across the financial services industry to attend the – as-yet-undated – event.
Cortesi said the aim of the proposed summit was to create a strong industry submission to the current review of the Financial Advisers Act (FAA).
It is understood the PAA has secured an extension on the July 22 deadline for FAA submissions from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MOBIE) to incorporate any feedback from the advice summit.
Cortesi said date and venue should be finalised this week for the summit, which would definitely be held before the end of July.
He said the industry needed to focus on key issue of accessibility to personalised financial advice, rather than getting bogged down “with changes to rules and regulations”.
The summit would address four basic points, Cortesi said:
- Setting common expected behaviour and practice standards for all advisers, regardless of current legal status;
- Defining commission practices – across mortgage, insurance and investment products – that “reflect the realities of the New Zealand market”;
- Developing a “pragmatic approach” to combating so-called ‘churn’, currently a big focus in the life insurance industry both here and across the Tasman; and,
- Aligning registration and conduct standards for qualifying financial entity (QFE) staff who deal in insurance, mortgages and investments, with the rest of the advisory industry.
“We think all advisers, including QFE employees, should be registered as individuals,” he said. “And the Code of Professional Conduct should apply to all advisers rather than just AFAs [authorised financial advisers].”
While PAA primarily represents mortgage and insurance advisers, Cortesi said the issues up for discussion at the summit – especially product commissions and the potential impact of Australian-like rules in New Zealand – affected fund managers too.
“We need a good cross-section of the industry at the summit to put in what is important for each sector in the FAA review,” he said.