The Government has confirmed the start date to the new financial advice regime for Monday 15 March 2021. The transitional licensing application window remains open until then. In the meantime, the current Financial Advisers Act 2008 continues to apply.
Financial advisers must then ensure that the licensed financial advice provider (or authorised body) that has agreed to engage them, links to them on the FSPR. More detail about this will be provided on the Companies Office website when available.
Any financial adviser who is not linked to a licensed financial advice provider (or authorised body) on the FSPR within three months of the start of the new regime, will be deregistered.
Note: If you’re not already registered on the FSPR, and plan to provide financial advice prior to the start date of the new regime in early 2021 you must make sure you’ve registered for the appropriate financial adviser service and are complying with the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA). You can read more about who can provide financial advice under the FAA here.
If you are already registered, we recommend that you log in and check your contact details are correct so we can keep you updated about the new regime.
If you’re currently listed on the FSPR as an AFA or an RFA you have nothing to pay. However, from the start of the new regime on Monday 15 March 2021, financial advisers will be charged an annual levy of $304.75 (incl. GST). You will be charged $86.25 (incl. GST) for each year that you stay registered.
Take reasonable steps to ensure your clients understand the nature and scope of the advice being provided, including any limitations about that. For example, you must explain if you’re only able to give advice about certain products.
Where there’s a conflict of interest you must give priority to your client’s interests.
Only recommend financial products to clients that are offered in compliance with the FMC Act and its regulations.
Ensure you follow the new disclosure regulations and that any information you make available to clients is not false, misleading or incomplete.
Code of Professional Conduct
Anyone giving advice to retail clients must comply with a new Code of Professional Conduct for financial advice services. This outlines the standards of conduct, client care, competence, knowledge, and skill you need to meet when giving regulated financial advice to retail clients in New Zealand. The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs approved the Code of Professional Conduct in May 2019. It takes effect from the start of the new regime in early 2021.
A person who gives financial advice must:
Part 1: Ethical behaviour, conduct and client care
1. Treat clients fairly 2. Act with integrity 3. Give financial advice that is suitable 4. Ensure the client understands the financial advice 5. Protect client information
Part 2: Competence, knowledge and skill
6. Have general competence, knowledge and skill 7. Have particular competence, knowledge, and skill for designing an investment plan 8. Have particular competence, knowledge and skill for product advice 9. Keep competence, knowledge, and skill up-to-date
Under the transitional arrangements in the Act, there is a "Competency safe harbour" built in to the transitional period at the start of the new regime. This generally means that, if you were registered or authorised to provide advice under the Financial Advisers Act 2008 regime, you have up to two years to meet any new competency requirements. In the meantime during the transitional period, you can continue to provide the advice you were legally permitted to under the Financial Advisers Act 2008. Note that this competency safe harbour expires at the end of the transitional period, two years after the new financial advice regime begins.
You must disclose certain information to your financial advice provider’s clients to ensure they can make informed decisions.
You can view information about the disclosure regulations on MBIE's website.
Liability and enforcement
The FMA is one of several organisations that has a role in enforcing the new financial advice regime.
For an overview of what this will mean, see the MBIE fact sheets:
Plan how to meet any skills or knowledge gaps, and understand how the competency safe harbour might apply to you – the financial advice provider you will be working for may be able to support you with this.