Some in the financial adviser community are starting to panic as the new regulatory regime edges closer, says Naomi Ballantyne, Managing Director of Partners Life.
However, she says the new regulations, due to start on March 15, are not designed to trap advisers who do a good job for their customers, but will help identify advisers who give poor advice.
Speaking during a Zoom presentation, Ballantyne said: “The regulations are designed to ensure that you can prove that you are good, and that you’ve given good advice, nothing more than that.
“But they’re also designed to catch out the advisers who are more interested in their own commissions…and who are deliberately or recklessly giving advice that is not good for the customer.
“The regulations are designed to identify advisers who do not have, and cannot get, to a level of knowledge and competence to give good advice to customers, as well as advisers who do not understand what it is they’re selling.
“So if the result of the regulations is that we lose the last two groups from the industry, that actually would be good for the reputation of the industry.
“It’ll be good for customers, because they won’t be getting bad or ignorant advice. And it will be good for all of the good advisers who fill the gap [that’s created].”
Ballantyne says most of the advisers who work with Partners Life have obtained their provisional licence.
“All they have to do now is work out how and what they are going to disclose to the customers and my tip would be disclose everything. Trust me, it will make the customer trust you more – it won’t make them distrust you,” she said.
“There are a few advisers who’ve only recently made the decisions about what they’re going to do and are now in the process of obtaining their license or joining a FAP. Yes, they are late, but they’re not too late.”
Ballantyne says the only advisers who should be panicking are those who have done nothing.
“And if that is you, you should be panicking. We can help you, but you need to do it now,” she said.