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Kepa ready for regulatory changes

The newly-appointed head of Kepa Home Loans says the group is ready for the incoming wave of industry regulation facing mortgage advisers.

Rupert Gough says Kepa is “as ready as we can be” to help members navigate licensing model changes arising from the proposed Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill. 

The firm has developed a 'Fit for License' training scheme for members who wish to become Financial Advice Providers (FAPs) in their own right under the new regime. Kepa is set to offer training, covering subjects such as auditing, to help members.

Most of the group's members will register under Kepa's FAP status, but Gough says the adviser group is keeping options open for members: “We are looking to be one of the first on board with the new licensing model, and letting advisers get on with what they do, which is meet people and create mortgages."

He adds: “Any time spent on compliance and changes to their [advisers’] business is time away from their clients. We are getting our end ready, so when we have a picture of what the financial services industry will look like, we can make it as low stress as possible.”

Gough, the founder and chief executive of Auckland-based advisory firm Mortgage Lab, took on the Kepa role last week. Mortgage Lab is 25% owned by Kepa, and Gough will continue to run his business.

Following the appointment, Kepa members will have two branding options. They will be able to operate with their own name under the Kepa Home Loans banner, or under the Mortgage Lab banner.

Gough is tasked with building out Kepa’s network of mortgage advisers, which currently stands at roughly 82, including specialist and non-specialist mortgage advisers. The wider Kepa group, which also represents insurance advisers, has over 400 members. He is also tasked with managing relationships with lenders.

Key to the group’s proposition is the launch of a new customer relationship management system (CRM), which Kepa claims will smooth the way customer information is collected and sent to banks.

Gough adds: “There is a lack of good mortgage-based software. From first call to settlement, it produces clean applications for banks. Banks receive a lot of half-done applications so we are trying to make it so every application from a Kepa adviser is as clean and easy as possible.”