1 Apr 2021 – MBIE published a discussion document seeking public input into problems and proposed options to address jurisdictional inconsistencies between approved dispute resolution scheme rules, with submissions closing on 6 May 2021. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/review-of-approved-financial-dispute-resolution-scheme-rules/ This review process does not include the option of merging the scheme (along the lines of the Australian approach). The review looks at limits, consistency, and jurisdictional issues that may affect claimants. It is well worth taking a look at the document - advisers that have had claims would be advised to take a look too, your feedback may be especially valuable.
Susan Edmunds, reporting at Stuff.co.nz, tells us of a client that was surprised by the extent of the fee a mortgage broker charged when they refinanced their loan early. They complained about it to FSCL, here is the essence of their decision:
FSCL said the adviser was entitled to a fee but the terms of engagement were too vague to be enforceable. “The clause did not set out how much the clawback fee could be, or how the fee would be calculated. It simply said that, if the client fully repaid their loan within 24 months, the adviser would be entitled to charge an early repayment fee. For all [the client] knew, it could be a $25 fee, as opposed to $2500.”
Faced with that, the adviser agreed to waive the fee. That's the problem with a vague disclosure - a few examples could have made this really clear. Glen McLeod makes a robust defence of the right to charge such a fee - which I broadly agree with - I just think it should be really clear to a client what the fee will amount to. In the absence of good disclosure, the dispute resolution bodies will rule in the client's favour. I quite like the approach outlined by Bruce Patten, of LoanMarket, in the article. I believe that would stand up to a test such as this complaint.