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Financial planners: Dying out?

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New rules for financial advisers could make financial planners an endangered breed.

Friday, July 27th 2018, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Nigel Tate, who is a member of the Financial Advice NZ member advisory committee (MAC) for financial planning, said he was concerned at the proposals from the working group developing the new code of conduct for the industry.

The group sought feedback on a suggestion to divide advice into “product advice” and “financial planning” but even an insurance plan that took into account client circumstances would become financial planning under those rules.

Tate said that risked devaluing the work of financial planners.

“Under the initial framework if anybody giving advice was giving financial planning… that’s really taking away from what financial planning actually is. I would dearly love to see them provide some protection for true financial planning and financial planners around what actually is financial planning.”

Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi  and other government officials probably had limited knowledge of what the term meant, he said. “I would like to have the opportunity either as part of the finanical planning MAC or Financial Advice NZ to explain it… As soon as the AFA designation goes, so too does the only protection we have for financial planning. Anybody with the level five national certificate can call themselves a financial planner and I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

He told the group as part of the submission process that if they wanted to grow the profession, financial planner and financial planning needed to be protected terms, for people who had completed internationally recognised financial planning education, ethics assessment, experience and examinations.

Other advisers supported Tate’s view that the delineation had not been drawn correctly, in submissions to the working group.

Stephen Deverson said he, like many other insurance advisers, said he would be lumped in with financial planning because of his method of asking questions and completing a needs analysis and written insurance plan for his clients.

“I have been in this industry as an independent insurance a for nearly 20 years – I have done any course available over the years to enhance my knowledge and understanding in my chosen field – often finding the tertiary institutions way out of date in their learning material – and to be told now I need a level seven degree to continue in my role is an insult.”

Tony Gribble, of the Financial Design Group, said there were a “lot of egos and a lot of people making decisions that have never been in front of a client”.

“I find it hard to understand how the decision makers are not listening to experienced advisers for one, and 2 why is there not a couple of senior advisers on these panels giving their real life experience to this review –seems a waste of skills not considering these people.”

Tags: financial advisers Nigel Tate

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