Do advisers need another association?

Financial Advice NZ chief executive Katrina Shanks questions whether there is room for another adviser association in New Zealand. 

Last week the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) revealed it planned to set up shop in New Zealand. Whether there is room in the New Zealand market for another member-based organisation with only mortgage advisers is yet to be tested, Financial Advice NZ outgoing chief executive Katrina Shanks says.

She says the market is serviced well already for mortgage advisers.

“We will watch with interest.”

Shanks says the organisation has a significant number of mortgage adviser members but won’t reveal figures.

Although Financial Advice NZ doesn’t cater exclusively for mortgage advisers and includes financial planners and insurance advisers in its membership, Shanks says services for mortgage advisers include a Seeking Adviser campaign on its website where consumers can find a mortgage adviser via the tool. She says this has worked well.

Services also include an online learning management system focused on property, a range of mortgage tools, training on regulation legislation and other areas of interest.

“We are wanting to boost mortgage advisers holistically through their professional competencies and knowledge.”

She says FANZ has worked hard to have “great relationships” with the major banks and lift mortgage advisers’ market share, which is slowing rising, but has some way to go to match Australia’s and the UK’s numbers.

Financial Advice NZ has regular meetings with politicians, legislators, key policy writers and regulators.

Shanks says on of her big achievements during her five-year reign at Financial Advice NZ was getting changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA).

“It was such a poor piece of legislation and regulations. It proved that with a well-designed campaign you can influence change. Having advisers provide 300 stories of how their clients had been impacted within 48 hours certainly provide the fuel for the fire.”

“As the industry knows, we made a significant impact on the CCCFA and getting that changed when it had perverse outcomes.

“CoFi was a piece of legislation where we worked to ensure our members had an environment they could operate in. We've got extremely strong relations with the regulators policymakers and lenders which makes a difference.”

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