Financial Advice weigh in on disclosure regulations, and more daily news

Financial Advice New Zealand have voiced their approval of the new disclosure regulations that were announced by MBIE on 25 June 2020. Katrina Shanks has said that new regulations mirror what Financial Advice outlined in their CoFI submission.

“Financial Advice NZ chief executive Katrina Shanks said the new rules had picked up many of the points made in the association's submission.

“The focus of the sector during this process was to ensure the right balance between good consumer outcomes and a financial advice sector which isn’t encumbered by unreasonable red tape and adverse outcomes.

“We support regulations around disclosure made to clients – including on conflicts of interest, commissions and other incentives and disciplinary issues.”

The need for disclosure being limited to adviser fees, the products they offer advice on, their conflicts of interest, commission they receive, and how clients can contact dispute resolution services is something Financial Advice is please about.

““However, we are pleased to see a change from the draft disclosure requirements that now only requires disclosure of these matters when they would likely materially influence a client’s decision. This is something we strongly recommended in our submission to ensure disclosures were meaningful and not overwhelming for consumers.

“We were concerned the draft regulations required disclosure of product fees charged by unrelated third parties (e.g. insurance premiums) so the removal of the requirement to disclose fees for ‘acting on the advice’ was a sensible move."” Click here to read more

In other news:

FSC: FSC 2020 Awards - Nominations Open

FMA: FMA takes CLSAP NZ to court over alleged anti-laundering breaches

Westpac: Westpac to launch carbon footprint tracker

BNZ: BNZ launches banking support for domestic, economic abuse survivors


Daily news update: nib offers continued support to members, and more stories

nib announced that it will offer members continued support in the form of their COVID-19 member and community support package. The support package will be offered until 30 September 2020 to ensure that members are able to maintain their health. cover.

“nib New Zealand (nib) today announced it will offer its COVID-19 member and community support package for an additional three months to make sure members continue to stay safe and healthy by maintaining their private health cover as New Zealand recovers from the pandemic.

nib Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said that while lockdown restrictions have eased and more healthcare services are now available, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have ongoing financial and health impacts on New Zealanders.

“We recognise many of our members have experienced financial uncertainty and additional stress during this difficult time, and we want them to be able to continue to prioritise their health and wellbeing,” Mr Hennin said.

“By extending our support package we hope this provides both our members and the community with additional support to assist them as we return to a new normal,” he added.”

nib is offering:

  • Ability for eligible existing members who are experiencing financial hardship to access special premium relief*.
  • Ability for eligible existing members who are experiencing financial hardship to suspend* their health insurance policy and premium payment for up to six months.
  • Expanded coverage* for chest, lung, kidney and bladder or other treatment related to conditions caused by COVID-19 across all levels of hospital cover (including Basic Private Hospital Cover, Mid Private Hospital Cover and Mid Private Hospital Cover Plus where currently excluded) at no additional cost.
  • Cover for GP or specialist consultations that need to be conducted via video or tele-consultation due to COVID-19*.
  • Automatic increase of pre-approval validity to six months meaning members do not need to reapply for pre-approval if they experience delays to hospital treatment#.
  • Ability for existing members to increase their excess (payable upon hospital admission) to the maximum allowable level under their policy without needing to be re-underwritten if they choose to reduce their excess as their financial situation improves^.
  • Help for members navigating COVID-19 by publishing across our various channels (including nib.co.nz) information on their cover, how to minimise infection risk and related matters.
  • A $1 million donation from nib foundation and nib to support charitable initiatives, including Lifeline Aotearoa and Clearhead, to assist the community across New Zealand and Australia during the pandemic.
  • Offering up to two weeks paid special discretionary leave for all nib Group employees (permanent, fixed-term or casual) who are impacted by COVID-19.

In other news:

Financial Advice: Bring in the Experts – What’s next for FSLAA: An update from the FMA on progress and the path ahead

Financial Advice: Expressions of Interest to join the Association’s Certification Committee now open

CoFI: watch the select committee


DAILY NEWS: Unpacking Minister Faafoi and Financial Advice NZ webinar, and more stories

During the Financial Advice NZ webinar, Minster Faafoi spoke about his commitment to ensuring that the conduct bill progresses while also highlighting that he is conscious of the importance of having enough lead-in time. During the webinar, the Minister spoke of how the Government understands that commissions are a legitimate way of paying advisers and as a result, the Government isn’t seeking to ban commissions, instead is looking to end target-based incentives. 

“In a webinar with Financial Advice NZ, Faafoi acknowledged that concern and said he did not want the conduct regime to add another layer of complexity of regulation on top for advisers.

The bill in its current form also allows regulations to dictate remuneration structures, which some industry participants have expressed concern about.

Faafoi said Government recognised that commissions were a legitimate way of paying advisers for their “important work” because consumers were generally unwilling to pay for financial advice. He said the Government was aware that commission structures were the way the sector had operated for decades.

“It is not the Government’s intention to ban all commission.” Click here to read more

It would be a great relief to advisers and insurers if it could be clearly discerned from the Bill that the power to ban commissions is reserved. At present the definition of incentives in the law can be read as including all normal commission payments, which is unnerving when long-term decisions need to be made. 

In other news:

Suncorp: Kate Armstrong joins Suncorp’s NZ boards

Suncorp: Suncorp earmarks further NZ$2 million for hardship fund

FMA: Transitional licensing continues at a “steady rate” despite COVID-19 delays – FMA

AIA: AIA new business value slips 27% after coronavirus disruption

 


DAILY NEWS: Global COVID-19 effects on insurance industry, and more stories

Lloyds of London has reported that COVID-19 will likely cost the global insurance industry over NZ$336 billion (US$200 billion). It is predicted that the industry will experience a greater loss if lockdowns around the world continue into the next quarter. 

“The pandemic will cost the insurance industry over US$200 billion (NZ$336 billion), according to Lloyds of London, who estimated that its own payouts are now on a par with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks or the combined impact of hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma in 2017.

Lloyds, which as an insurance market pays out to insurers affected by disasters, said it expects to pay between $3 billion and $4.3 billion to insurance companies to help them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Losses could widen if lockdowns continue into the next quarter, which would push the overall cost to the insurance industry to $203 billion. Unlike the storms, for example, the pandemic's impact is global, systemic and long term.” Click here to read more

 

While most of those impacts are for catastrophe cover, there will be impacts on life insurers, especially in those markets where control measures were less successful.

In other news:

Applications show small advice firms still see future: FMA

Leading Adviser explains why a group's actions need to speak louder than words

Association CEO joins Trustees Executors board

Financial Advice NZ welcomes Budget 2020

Advisers back wage subsidy extension


Webinar with Minister Faafoi

Minister Kris Faafoi will be available to discuss FSLAA and CoFI with members. The webinar will be held on 19 May at 10 am.

"Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi will speak to Financial Advice New Zealand members in a webinar on Tuesday, 19 May, at 10am.

As members will know, he’s the minister behind the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act (FSLAA) and the Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Bill (CoFI), which is before a select committee. Once the COVID-19 restrictions hit he agreed to extend the transitional licensing application window part of FSLAA to early next year (most likely March), with the new Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services to come into force at the same time.”" Click here to register

In other news:

Financial Advice webinar: Bring in the Experts

Covid-19 coronavirus: The fishhooks in the govt's 'interest free' small business loans

Behaviour change puts dampener on recovery optimism

Guide to taking part in a rights issue

MBIE: Cash Flow Forecaster


Insurance and home loans - the future of financial planning

In some respects investments advisers are streets ahead of insurance and home loans advisers. Older, wealthier, and with wealthier clients they also tend to have more fee-based businesses, and work from longer-established evidence-based models for advice. But insurance and home loans advice has plenty to celebrate, and that was reflected in the changing membership of Financial Advice New Zealand, highlighted by Chairperson Sue Brown in her recent speech. The younger adviser and more diverse membership Brown was happy to talk about comes mainly from the mortgage and insurance membership. In this advice sector barriers to entry are lower, and commissions enable the cash-strapped younger people, or return-to-work mothers looking for a career to fit around children, to become advisers. That diversity is important because if we want advice to be accessible to everyone. Some of that diversity will flow through into new ways of thinking and new offers and services to clients. That cohort of younger advisers will in turn develop the skills necessary to offer full financial planning and investment advice services. 


Congratulations to winners of awards at the Financial Advice New Zealand conference

The following were winners of awards at the Financial Advice New Zealand conference last week - congratulations to them all: 

  • Service to the Profession - Fred Dodds
  • Outstanding Adviser, Insurance – Peter Leitch, SHARE
  • Outstanding Adviser, Lending – Maria Thackwell, Maria Thackwell Mortgage Company
  • Outstanding Adviser, Financial Planning – Tim Fairbrother, RIVAL Wealth
  • Rising Star Award – Sarah Bloxham, Let’s Talk Mortgages
  • Outstanding Support Person Award – Liz Cannon, Westpac
  • Community Services – Darcy Ungaro, Ungaro & Co Financial Advisory Services. Garth Clarricoats, SHARE. Marie Quinn, Marie Quinn Financial Services.

See you at the financial advice New Zealand conference

I plan to  be there bright and early on Thursday morning and I am looking forward to the programme which includes the following keynotes:

  • Hon Kris Faafoi
  • Hagai Segal – Being Brave in an uncertain world
  • Dominick Stephens – Economic Update
  • Adele Ferguson – An insider’s view of the Hayne Royal Commission
  • Brett Roberts – Change and disruption – the opportunity to be Brave and Bold
  • Matt Church – NEXT: Thriving in the decade of disruption
  • Matina Jewell – Courageous leadership in time of change
  • Hon Paul Goldsmith & Mark Sorenson (at dinner)

I will be at the Quotemonster stand in the exhibition hall during the breaks too - do stop by and say hello.