Should all those who deliver a financial advice service be required to have attained the minimum qualification of the NZ Certificate in Financial Services, or its equivalent?
- Yes (83%)
- No (13%)
- Not sure (4%)
Do you agree with Financial Advice NZ in its call for there to be a single minimum qualification for all Kiwis delivering financial advice?
This poll stems from the release of the draft Code of Professional Conduct and its proposed Standard Nine, which deals with general competence, knowledge and skill.
At first glance, Standard Nine reads quite reasonably, but Financial Advice NZ has picked up on what it believes to be an inconsistency which may lead to two different sets of standards being set for those delivering regulated financial advice in New Zealand.
That inconsistency relates to individuals or ‘nominated representatives’ who work through a financial advice provider. Instead of achieving a minimum Level 5 qualification or its accepted equivalent, these advisers may instead be required, according to the proposed wording in Standard Nine, to:
“…complete the learning outcomes specified for their role by their financial advice provider that mean that, together with the procedures, systems and expertise of the financial advice provider, the nominated representative has the capabilities equivalent to those of an individual who alone has achieved the general qualification outcomes.”
That language is a bit of a mouthful, but in its essence, it means that advisers working for, say, a bank, can get by with internal training and education, rather than take a Level 5 qualification.
…everyone involved in the provision of a financial advice service should be required to have attained the same minimum qualification
From Financial Advice New Zealand’s perspective, it argues that everyone involved in the provision of a financial advice service should be required to have attained the same minimum qualification of the NZ Certificate in Financial Services, or its equivalent, irrespective of the organizational structure under which they operate (click here for the Association’s full response).
Where do you stand on this question? We appreciate you may also hold your own views about whether Level 5 is the right way to go. But given Level 5 or its equivalent is definitely going to be mandated, do you think it’s ok for nominated representatives to take this alternative path that will allow them to provide personal financial advice to the Kiwi consumer?
Let us know what you think and we’ll report back next week…