The FMA has started consultations on the proposed full licence conditions for Financial Advice Providers (FAPs), which will be part of the new financial advice regime set to start in early 2021.
The FMA says the process of obtaining a full license will be “more comprehensive” than obtaining a transitional license, and the regulator will be carefully considering whether applicants are “capable of effectively performing the financial advice service.”
The FMA is currently considering eight standard conditions for a full license: record keeping, internal complaints process, regulatory returns, outsourcing, professional indemnity insurance, business continuity and tech systems, ongoing capability and notification of material changes.
It is also looking at separating the license into three different classes, which will allow sole traders, nominated representatives and businesses who engage multiple advisers to choose the license that best suits their circumstances. It will also aim to streamline the assessment and licensing process.
FMA director of market engagement John Botica says the consultation will give advisers certainty around what will be expected of them once the new regime begins.
“We’re pleased to open this consultation as it will give financial advisers further clarity on their obligations under the new regime,” Botica said.
“Our proposal to specify three classes of financial advice recognises the diversity of business structures in the industry and will allow advisers to apply for the class that’s most appropriate for them.”
Minister Faafoi has already confirmed that the government is not looking to introduce a total ban on commissions as part of its reforms, though he says it will be looking at the more “unhealthy” structures which may create conflicts of interest.
“We know that commissions are important, but we’ve seen many instances come through the Reserve Bank and FMA’s enquiries where the structures created some incentives that weren’t healthy for consumers,” Faafoi said.
“I’m confident that we’ll get to the point where we can include the intent of the Bill to protect consumers, maintain trust and confidence in the sector, and make it practical and workable.”
Consultations are open until Friday, August 07, and the FMA will begin to take full license applications once the new legislation takes effect. It has so far granted over 800 transitional licenses which cover approximately 5,800 financial advisers – more than half of the registered and authorised financial advisers practicing in New Zealand.