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  4. Financial Markets Authority AFA Update: Issue # 8

Financial Markets Authority AFA Update: Issue # 8

AFA Questionnaire - final day to respond is Friday 28 September 2012

We've emailed all AFAs a questionnaire seeking input on how financial adviser regulation has impacted your business. We've been really encouraged by the high level of interest and to date we've had over 700 responses. Thank you for this input.

Remember if you haven't yet responded the deadline is Friday 28 September 2012.

Please take this opportunity to have your say.

Complaints - offering 'AFA' services

We often receive complaints about RFAs offering services that can only be offered and provided by AFAs. When we receive these complaints we generally review the RFA's advertising and then contact the RFA for further information about the extent of their services so that we can assess their compliance with the law. In most cases it is an issue of unclear marketing and advertising and compliance is achieved quite quickly, without recourse to any other regulatory enforcement powers.

For example, recently we have requested that RFAs withdraw advertising which uses phrases such as, 'comprehensive personal financial plans' and 'full financial health checks'. We think this type of advertising could imply an investment planning service is provided, which is not permitted under the Financial Advisers Act unless an adviser is appropriately authorised.

We have a range of additional powers to use where these measures do not achieve compliant outcomes.

The information provided to us by members of the public and by advisers, is very valuable and we encourage AFAs to continue to provide us with details of any non- compliant behaviour. We can't always tell you exactly how we will act on your information, but we do
take all information referred to us very seriously.

Is your annual ABS confirmation due?

A reminder that if your annual confirmation was due for the months of June - August, then you should have submitted your annual confirmation to FMA via afa.monitoring@fma.govt.nz by now.

To ensure that your confirmation is correctly received, please include in the subject line your first name, surname, and FSPR number.

You will recall that the annual reporting period is a 12 month period that commences from the date of your authorisation. This is separate to your annual registration requirements that you complete with the Companies Office.

Failure to complete the annual ABS confirmation is a breach of your Standard Conditions.

Have you selected the right address for mail?

Any FMA reminders or other important correspondence that we mail to you is posted to the address you have listed as your address for communications on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR).

Remember this must be an address NZ Post delivers to (e.g. if you are in a commercial building this will normally be a PO Box rather than a street address). Please take a moment to check your address details are up to date on the FSPR and that you have selected the correct address for communication.

Go to http://www.business.govt.nz/fsp/do-it-now/my-account remember you will need your i-govt logon to access your account.

We ask that you do this without delay; otherwise you may not receive important communications from FMA.

Other recent news and website updates

  • FMA has announced the granting of licences for Securities Trustees and Statutory Supervisors. See here.
  • FMA has issued a guidance note on pre-prospectus publicity. See the guidance note here.
  • Our new consumer flyers are proving popular. AFAs can order copies of these flyers by contacting us.
  • FMA has published its first report on inquiries, investigations and enforcement. See the report here.