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NZ advisers welcome changes to conduct bill

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Advisers in New Zealand will be excluded from fair conduct programs under amendments made last week to a bill designed to improve culture and practices in the financial services industry.

Financial Advice New Zealand, which has pressed for the changes to the Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Bill, has welcomed the move.

The peak body has said in its submission that advisers will have their own conduct regulations to abide by when the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act comes into effect in March next year.

“The focus of [our] submission was to exclude financial advisers and financial advice providers from the Fair Conduct Program in the first instance,” CEO Katrina Shanks said.

“We are pleased to see financial advisers have been removed from the duties of the bill which means they do not have to abide by the Fair Conduct Program as they have their own conduct regime.”

She says the peak body is also pleased that the claims process has been excluded from the bill and that its concerns over the lack of a definition of “fair” has been addressed.

But the industry is still concerned that financial institutions have to consider training and supervision for advisers under section 446M of the bill.

“This is an area we will be seeking further consideration,” she said.

The bill has been referred back to Parliament for a second reading after the September 19 general election.