Advisers have consumers best interest: Finsure

Aggregation business, Finsure Group, has rejected claims by the Commerce Commission that advisers are at risk of being influenced by their own financial interests when providing advice.

Finsure Group chief executive Simon Bednar said the mortgage advice sector is built on relationships, trust and integrity, with systems in place to ensure the customers interests are a priority.

“The adviser sector is geared towards ensuring the loan product selection process takes into account as many parameters as possible in order to achieve a positive outcome for the customer,” he said.

ComCom is recommending the Financial Markets Authority should monitor commission disclosures more closely and issue guidelines for advisers, despite there already being very clear responsibilities around disclosure.

Advisers currently disclose their available lending panel, as well as their remuneration rates to their customers.

Bednar says the responsibility should be on aggregators to ensure their network of advisors understand their obligations and have the level of support to help them fulfil those obligations. 

“The Australian mortgage advisory sector experienced a royal commission into the banking and financial services industry between 2017 and 2019, which resulted in aggregators taking the front foot and ensuring mortgage advisers were working in their customers’ best interest.

"This philosophy and regulatory framework has been largely mirrored in New Zealand.

“We take the ‘client centric’ approach very seriously, ensuring all Finsure mortgage advisers are equipped with the tools and support they need to deliver a solution that is in their customers’ best interest.”

Finsure NZ Country Manager, Jenny Campbell, said Finsure had a leading compliance team and an award-winning customer relations management platform, Infynity, to support advisers.

“We have a leading training and education program to help advisers understand their obligations and have the appropriate conversations with customers to ensure they are getting a loan that best suits their individual requirements,” she said.

“Finsure has been leading the way by using compliance as an enabler rather than as an inhibitor. 

“Our compliance team can take immediate action when they identify that an adviser is not following the framework in instances such as failing to upload minimum required documents or underquoting living expenses.

“Importantly, our early intervention strategy allows the adviser the chance to change their behaviour and ensure their mistake is not repeated before it’s too late. No other New Zealand aggregator is taking this approach. Finsure is leading the way in turning attitudes to compliance away from after-the-fact detection and firmly towards prevention. As a result, we’re seeing advisers remain on top of their obligations and disclose their lender accreditations and remuneration rates.”

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