Adviser law review top of Commerce Minister’s to-do list

by NZ Adviser04 Dec 2015
Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith has said the legislative review of five-year old law governing financial advisers and a review of provisions in the Commerce Act are his top priorities for 2016, BusinessDesk reports.

He says the reviews are aimed at improving New Zealand's reputation as a "stable, predictable and financially sustainable environment" for doing business.

"If you look at what most people focus on in politics, it's about trying to improve the living standards of New Zealanders, and we often focus on growing the economy as being the best way to do that and create higher incomes," Goldsmith said. 

"Perhaps we don't talk about the flip-side, which is to make every dollar you have go further, and that points to the competitiveness of the domestic economy."

Goldsmith said he wants to take a "slow and deliberate process" regarding the review of financial advisers legislation, as the area is "ripe with potential for unintended consequences."

The main issues that stand out to him are the cost and complexity New Zealanders of modest means have in accessing financial advice, and the consistency of disclosure of conflicts of interest.

"It’s a very long ongoing process of trying to raise confidence in the conduct of financial markets and New Zealanders' access to that, and the financial advisers space is important," he said.

"I've inherited a very large suite of regulations, and I think they need to be regularly and rigorously reviewed to make sure that we’re achieving what we set out to achieve and we’re not adding undue cost to industries in various ways," he said.

"You do have to continually ask that question have we got it right and are all these regulations we impose justified, given rapid change in some sectors."

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