Code Working Group Chair, Angus Dale-Jones, has confirmed that the Code draft is on track to be published for consultation within a few weeks time, although there is no exact date yet.
Speaking at a panel discussion during the recent Financial Advice New Zealand National Advisers Conference, Dale-Jones said they are trying to make the Code document as concise and readable for advisers and consumers of financial advice as possible.
But he stressed that advisers need to ‘own’ the document by providing their feedback, positive or negative, on the Code draft once it is released.
“We’re really keen to hear back from you about whether you think the code is hitting the mark, so we achieve our objective of articulating what doing the right thing looks like for advice,” Dale-Jones said.
Once the Code is published, he said advisers can respond to the consultation directly or via their professional association.
The Working Group has compiled and worked through the consultation submissions since June and incorporated this feedback into the Code draft.
“We received a lot of feedback about the Code being too focussed on process,” he said. “We’ve listened to that message and I challenge you to find too much process left in the Code.”
But he added one of the challenges was to minimise process but “at the same time not have things at such a high level of principle that it’s meaningless”.
He listed five points that the Working Group has been considering while drafting the Code:
- Stating principles that are clear and practical
- “Minimum” standards that invoke aspirational behaviour
- An overarching customer-oriented standard that is consistent with the Act-imposed duty to prioritise client interests
- Standards that ensure advice quality and availability
- A code that makes a difference and can be complied with and enforced with reasonable effort
He told advisers to ensure they read the material coming out from the Code Working Group, MBIE and the FMA from October.
The Code Working Group will come together for their next face-to-face meeting in Wellington this week.