Consultation: Trusted Adviser Financial Advice New Zealand

The proposed logo, subject to change due to trademark requirements

This is the proposed concept for the quality service mark of Financial Advice New Zealand members. We are now seeking members’ feedback on the mark and its criteria.

This mark, once finalised and approved, will be available for qualifying members to use in the promotion of themselves to the public.

It is a visible symbol that an adviser’s high level of qualification, experience and ethics has been recognised by a professional body. The name Trusted Adviser Financial Advice New Zealand was selected as “trust” is representative of the core of financial advice. We know quality advisers build trust and confidence with their clients to obtain the best outcomes. Trust is central to the advice process.

The criteria for this mark of qualifications, experience and ethics (see below for the full proposed criteria) build the foundations for quality advice and advice which therefore can be trusted by the public and by us. We believe this mark is easy to understand by the public we serve, and is consumer centric. One of our goals is to encourage the public to seek out quality financial advice to increase their financial health, wealth and wellbeing.

The mark highlights those advisers who have chosen to commit to qualifications and Continuing Professional Development obligations at a level higher than that required by New Zealand law and code. Those that have demonstrated their focus on ethics and who stand by their advice with appropriate Professional Indemnity insurance.

The  mark is intended as an aspirational mark that members will desire to achieve. It is not a new standard for membership nor is the criteria compulsory. It creates a pathway to a recognised mark for those who are seeking to further develop their professional skills and knowledge and allows those that have met the criteria to differentiate themselves from other market participants. It is another step in the pathway between our core membership and our pinnacle marks of CLUCM and CFPCM.

The mark’s blue imagery with the tick was incorporated to show a link to the Financial Advice NZ logo, whilst also giving the public a visual sign that you have been selected individually as a trusted adviser. There are full colour, black, and white options available to work in with advisers’ own brand colours.

Proposed criteria
A Trusted Adviser of Financial Advice NZ is a member who has been accepted as having;
• a Level 5 qualification in Financial Services, including the relevant strands for the advice areas provided, or a higher qualification recognised by Financial Advice NZ
• a minimum of 3 years experience as a Financial Adviser providing regulated financial advice
• maintained an annual Professional Development Plan and attained a minimum of 20 hours structured Continuing Professional Development every year
• attended a Financial Advice NZ Ethics in Financial Services three-hour workshop every three years
• appropriate adviser level Professional Indemnity Insurance to provide assurance to clients

If 80% of a firm’s advisers are deemed “Trusted Advisers” then the firm can obtain the mark for itself.

If you are currently an Authorised Financial Adviser or hold a CLUCM or CFPCM mark it is proposed that you are deemed to meet the criteria at launch date, however ongoing compliance to maintain the mark is the same as all other members.

Whether a member who doesn’t have a qualification but does have a significant number of years’ experience should be deemed to have met the qualification standard is one of the areas we are consulting on.

Benefits to members
• Provides a way to differentiate yourself in the market at a time when the RFA and AFA designations are disappearing.
• Shows your competence, professionalism and ethical focus.
• Gives you added credibility.
• Visually shows your connection to a Professional Body.
• The mark supports increased trust between you and the public.

How to use the Trusted Adviser Financial Advice NZ mark
• Include the logo in your marketing collateral
• Add it to your website next to your profile details
• Add it to your email footer
• The image can click through to a Trusted Adviser Financial Advice NZ public focused webpage which will highlight what a Trusted Adviser of Financial Advice NZ is and what it stands for.

Next steps – consultation open until 22nd July
We welcome feedback from the membership about the mark and its criteria. You can email us directly, or fill in the online feedback form below. On the 8th of July we invite you to join us for a webinar on the proposed Trusted Adviser Financial Advice New Zealand mark where we will have an open discussion and seek your feedback. Register here to register for the webinar

The feedback period is open until 22nd July 2020.

Sarah Christian, Manager Governance & Policy,
Katrina Shanks, CEO,
Or call us on 0800 432 101