FINANCIAL ADVICE NEW ZEALAND
MEDIA RELEASE 8 May 2019
INCONSISTENT QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS A LOST OPPORTUNITY FOR THE SECTOR AND NEW ZEALANDERS
Financial Advice New Zealand says the Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services has fallen short in the crucial area of qualifications and professional development.
“While we are supportive of many areas of the Code and applaud the straight-forward structure and language, we remain disappointed that the Code does not require a minimum qualification for all persons providing regulated financial advice, or a minimum requirement for CPD,” says Katrina Shanks, CEO Financial Advice New Zealand.
“A key objective of the new regime is to build public confidence and trust in the financial services sector: ensuring that New Zealanders deal with qualified people is an absolutely crucial component in this.”
“The final Code will set up a two-tiered system of advisers: a mandatory qualification for ‘individual’ financial advisers, and ‘equivalence’ for nominated representatives. In our view, this does not best serve New Zealanders,” says Shanks.
On the subject of Continued Professional Development, Shanks highlights that commitment to ongoing professional development is a cornerstone of professionalism. “It is fundamental
that an adviser ensures they keep their key competencies and knowledge up-to-date. The Code ought to have a minimum level and require ‘any additional CPD’ to maintain competency.”
While pleased with the inclusion of ‘not applying undue pressure on clients’ in Standard 1 – a requirement which supports an advice rather than sales centric approach to client’s needs –
Shanks expressed surprise that the Standard no longer includes the language “act in their (client’s) interests”.
“Putting the client’s interests first is a cornerstone behaviour of professionalism, and as such should be reflected in the Code of Professional Conduct.”
For more information, please contact Katrina Shanks on 021 474 010 or firstname.lastname@example.org