Faafoi reassures advisers about the future

Commerce Minister Kris Faafoi has promised the financial services sector there will be no more big announcements this year.

He acknowledged, at the Get in Shape Advice Summit, that he had heard "loud and clear" that a lot of change had been forced on the sector.

Faafoi says he wants to "finish and tidy up" the FSLAA this year along with some tweaks to the CCCFA. The other big issue was to get proposed new conduct legislation through Parliament by the end of the year. The CoFI bill is expected to have its first reading in Parliament later this week.

The conduct regulations were about bringing banks and insurers up to the same standards that financial advisers already have to adhere to. 

Faafoi says if he is the Minister of Commerce after the election later this year he plans to focus on financial literacy.

He says the appointment of Jane Wrightson as the new Retirement Commissioner was about improving financial literacy.

"The new commissioner will be a real force," Faafoi said.

Kapiti Coast adviser Liz Koh says the Retirement Commission should be spending more time educating the middle class rather than its focus on low income earners as there is only so much which can be done with this demographic. Such as helping them to stay out of debt.

There is "huge untapped potential" if there was a focus on the middle class as they had more resources.

There is "a big disconnect between the commissioner and financial advisers," she said.


Sharon Corbett says MBIE is "working through niggles and concerns" raised about new disclosure regulations.

She says this related to things like repeating the same information in certain conversations and record keeping. MBIE was also cognisant that there had to be sufficient time allowed to prepare new disclosure material.

Corbett says MBIE hopes the new disclosure regulations will be released in March.

Faafoi says the other piece of legislation in the pipeline was changes to the Insurance contracts act. He said issues like having a claim for a heart attack denied because of non-disclosure of an old ankle injury.

One adviser challenged Faafoi and said statements like that were more about perception rather than reality. "I've never seen anything like that in my career".

Faafoi says he comments were made on "overwhelming feedback" from consultation around changes to the existing act. He believed it was the reality that claims were being denied for non-disclosure.

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