Kicking Off The Year of Full Licensing



While we don’t know what the next few months have in store, one thing we do know is that FAP full licensing will be in full swing, says Financial Advice NZ CEO Katrina Shanks.


To ensure that our Financial Advice NZ members kickstart 2022 with their best foot forward, here’s a quick overview of the key tools and guidance to keep in mind.

The licensing process for Class 1 advisers (sole adviser businesses) is not designed to be complex and many of your businesses will only have to make relatively small changes to meet the new requirements. If you have a larger and more complex business model, the time required will be more significant. So there is no time like now to start the process.

As always, if you need assistance and support, our team at Financial Advice NZ is here to answer any questions you might have.

When: Full licensing target dates

FAP full licence applicants have two key dates to circle on their calendar this year: 30 June (Class 3 applicants only), and 30 September (Class 1 and Class 2 applicants).

The FMA set these dates to help financial advice providers ensure their applications are processed and approved well ahead of 16 March 2023, when all FAP transitional licences will expire.

Financial Advice NZ CEO Katrina Shanks.
Financial Advice NZ CEO Katrina Shanks.

With March 2023 being a hard cut-off, the importance of applying within these timeframes cannot be overstated: failing to obtain a full licence in time means the FAP will no longer be able to provide financial advice. And while this deadline may seem a long way off, the FMA stresses that processing applications will take time.

We know all too well how the busyness of day-to-day operations can overtake even the best-planned schedule. That’s why, to remain on track and meet the relevant target date, it’s so crucial to have a strategy in place.

How: Helpful tools for full licence applicants

The FMA’s target dates give FAP a clear indication of the timeframe to aim for – the key thing is to keep progressing your application at a steady pace.

In the past few weeks, the FMA issued a set of self-assessment tools, to help full licence applicants assess their own level of compliance. The first tools focused on three standard conditions, namely:

  • Record-keeping
  • Cyber security
  • Business continuity planning, and key outsourcing arrangements

And more tools will be published in the next few months on the FMA’s FAP page, where FAPs can already find plenty of details on licensing, costs and obligations, including a downloadable FAP full licence application kit that explains each of the application questions.

On top of this, our team has been working closely with the regulator to ensure our members have access to a wide range of tools, resources, and insights.

These include (but are not limited to) our ongoing Bring In the Experts webinar series, with industry leaders, FMA representatives, and compliance experts sharing their knowledge – visit Financial Advice NZ to learn more.

For our members, we also have toolkits to help you through the different parts of the licensing requirements on the members-only side of our website. And of course, our initiatives will continue into 2022 with even more invaluable guidance and support on hand.

Why: The client, of course

The start of a New Year traditionally urges us to look ahead – and after the past two years we’ve experienced, we all look forward to brighter prospects in 2022.

This includes thousands of New Zealand households and businesses who have endured an unprecedented level of uncertainty, and now more than ever, need experienced advisers to help them navigate their way out of this storm.

The full licence milestone is the culmination of an intense journey that has seen advisers work hard in and on their business, while also going the extra mile for their clients during this pandemic.

For the advice sector, March 2023 represents the beginning of a new phase – one of increased public trust, and one with Kiwis’ financial wellbeing firmly at its heart.

I’m sure applicants will tackle the final leg of the journey with confidence and with a steady focus on client experience and business growth. Through this process, our sector will come out even stronger, and so will New Zealand’s financial resilience.

At Financial Advice NZ, we’re here to provide financial advisers with the tools they need to do their job at the highest level possible and build a better financial future for New Zealand.