The first Qualifying Financial Entities (QFEs) licences have been granted today signalling the next step in the implementation of the new financial advisers regulatory regime.
Securities Commission Director of Financial Adviser Regulation, Mel Hewitson, says the Commission has been processing applications from around 80 organisations and the majority of licences will be granted by 1 April. Applicants range from small insurance brokers to major banks and insurance companies.
"QFE status gives organisations an efficient way to meet their new regulatory responsibilities", says Ms Hewitson.
"It means they will take responsibility for ensuring their advisers deliver professional adviser services to retail consumers. In return, they don't need to individually register each person."
"Many New Zealanders get their advice on investments, insurance and mortgages from these organisations. We want them to be confident they're dealing with an organisation committed to ensuring their advisers follow the new rules."
Some 20,000 employee advisers and nominated representatives will come under QFE umbrellas. The vast majority will deal only with simple debt and insurance products but some QFE advisers will advise on more complex investment products, such as KiwiSaver, produced by their QFE. Advisers who wish to offer investments from a range of organisations have to be individually licensed by the Commission before 1 July.
"Grant of status is the first step in our regulatory relationship with QFEs," says Ms Hewitson.
"We'll now be working closely with those organisations to monitor how they are complying with their responsibilities."
Note to editors:
Qualifying Financial Entities as at 14 March 2011
ACM Insurance Ltd
AMP Services (NZ) Ltd
Farmers Mutual Group
Fisher Funds Management
Instant Finance NZ Ltd
Other names will be published on the Commission website as licensed.