Problems with your adviser

All advisers are legally required to act with care, diligence and skill. They must also put your needs first and not mislead you. This may not always happen, so you can make a complaint against them.

Individual disputes

If you’re not happy with your adviser’s service, you should contact their independent dispute resolution scheme. You’ll find details of the scheme in your adviser’s disclosure documents or on the Financial Service Providers Register.

If you have a complaint, use the dispute resolution scheme to get advice on how to complain effectively directly to your adviser. If you cannot resolve the issue directly, the dispute resolution scheme has powers to resolve complaints, at no cost to you. They can award compensation of up to $200,000 for claims that are upheld.

The sorts of complaints investigated by dispute resolution schemes against advisers include:

  • A fall in value of insurance claims paid out. This happens, for example, because cover under a new policy is different and the adviser has not explained this, or not explained it clearly.
  • Misleading information or inappropriate advice. For example, not explaining the importance of disclosing pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Non-disclosure of fees.
  • Suitability of product for the consumer’s needs. For example, advising a conservative investor to invest money in a high risk investment.

Note: if you’re a wholesale investor, you won’t have access to an external dispute resolutions service. See am I a retail or wholesale investor for more information.

Complaints to the FMA

We monitor complaints about the behaviour of financial advisers but we don’t deal with individual disputes. For details about our complaints process, please go to our make a complaint page.