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FMA Update - 18 February 2016

Working together to raise industry standards

Preparing for the licensing of MIS managers under the FMC Act has generated significant activity for us in this first part of the year.  Licensing requires significant work on the part of applicants as well, as they adjust to meet the new minimum standards. MIS licensing is last major plank of the FMC Act regime to fall into place, and we regard it as fundamental to the financial services sector and the well-being of the NZ economy as a whole. 

The interests of investors have been top of mind as we work alongside other government agencies, including the CFFC and MBIE, on encouraging KiwiSaver provider engagement with their members. We need to work with both the providers and consumers to encourage investors to be confident that they can make smart decisions. We have expanded the consumer resources on our website accordingly, and will be looking at how we can increase public awareness of this content.

The Financial Advisers Act review is of course a critical process in identifying how best to provide financial advice, of many hues and colours, to those that need it. We continue to work with MBIE and the industry on this.

Similarly, we have contributed to the review of the FSPR (Financial Services Providers Register) regulations and to the Appeal Court review of the High Court decisions in the Vivier and Excelsior cases. These cases relate to our ability to direct the Companies Registrar to remove entities from the register, where we consider their presence to be misleading as to the extent of their regulation in New Zealand.

As we complete transition into the FMC Act environment, we  are focused on preventing the harms that investors have suffered in the past and in guiding and influencing the conduct of financial service providers (including advice), not merely mopping up after the event. We see this as very much a joint effort between the FMA and the financial services sector and encourage continued dialogue with us as we develop our role.

Reminders

Consultations closing

19 February

Class designation of shares to managed investment products in a MIS

Proposed exemptions for existing property schemes

Forestry scheme issues and exemptions proposals

23 February

Consultation on Code of Professional Conduct: Issues response paper and the updated exposure draft of the Code released

26 February 

Recognition of overseas regimes – proposed exemption relief 

MIS manager licence applications take time to get right, so get in early

Based on our experience with DIMS licensing, we expect your MIS application will involve at least some engagement with us before it is ready to be approved. Some applications will take longer than others and therefore require more input from us.

To ensure we can give you the right level of support and you can meet the FMC Act 1 December deadline, we strongly recommend you talk to your supervisor and to us about your application, and plan to submit it in the first half of the year.

We’ve added some tips for making your application easier to the MIS manager licence resources page of our website.

For any questions on MIS licensing please visit our website or call us on 0800 434 567.

New investor resources available

We’ve been working on a range of new resources to help build investor understanding and confidence about investments as part of our investor capability strategy:

The risks of investing in property syndicates

Property syndicates typically offer higher returns but can be riskier than other forms of investment. Learn more about the risks involved in the consumer area of our website under ‘Ways to invest’.

New guide on reading selected financial information

It’s important to understand a company’s finances before you invest in a new share offer. Our guide helps investors understand the selected financial information found in a share offer product disclosure statement so they can make an informed decision about whether to invest. More

Updated ‘getting financial advice’ website content

The ‘getting financial advice’ section now includes more comprehensive information on working with a financial adviser. Topics include what investors can expect to pay for advice, and what good advice looks like. We have also added more links to help those searching for a local adviser.

Upcoming consultation

In the next few weeks, we will be publishing consultation proposals on some specific requirements and issues they raise for overseas businesses.

We will also be publishing consultation proposals on the independence requirements for corporate trustees who are appointed as licensed trustees for restricted schemes. We would like interested stakeholders’ feedback on these matters.

Balance date alignment for FMC reporting entity subsidiaries

Recognition of overseas auditors for custodian assurance engagements

Treatment of overseas banks offering simple debt securities to existing investors resident in New Zealand

Independence requirements for licensed trustees appointed as directors of sole corporate trustees for restricted schemes.

The final release date is still to be confirmed but if you have any questions about these, please contact us at questions@fma.govt.nz

Upcoming information sheets

How to calculate 0% prescribed investor rate returns (PIR)

How performance-based fees should be disclosed

We have prepared two information sheets for fund managers to clarify our position on two subjects.

The first deals with the formula we expect fund managers to use when they calculate a fund’s return with 0% PIR.

The second deals with how we expect fund managers to disclose performance-based fees to investors.

We expect to release these within the next month. 

FMA news 

10 February 2016 – FMA publishes new and improved online resources for investors

10 December  2015 – Getting over the barriers to financial advice