Financial Advice New Zealand (FINANZ) has spoken up in favour of broker commission payments as a result of concerns raisedbefore Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, saying that the conversation needs to be steered towards understanding what quality financial advice looks like.
The proposal to ban broker commission payments was raised following the Royal Commission in Australia and the increased scrutiny on financial services practices in New Zealand, however FINANZ CEO Katrina Shanks says the focus should be purely on customer outcomes.
“What FINANZ wants to do is talk about what good financial advice is, and what professionalism looks like,” Shanks said.
“Remuneration is just that, but what we’re really focused on is having the consumer at the centre of all the decision making for financial advice, making sure advisers secure the best outcomes for consumers and looking at the behaviours that drive that.”
According to Shanks, FINANZ is looking to play an increasingly active role in the decisions surrounding the financial advice profession in the coming months, and will be looking to promote broker interests in key developments such as the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill (FSLAB), and the ongoing FMA and RBNZ conduct and culture review.
“We’ve had the opportunity to speak to the Chair about the Select Committee process, and we’ll obviously be looking to develop that further and understand what the Select Committee’s drivers are,” Shanks said. “The FMA’s upcoming report is also on our radar and is something that we’re really conscious of, and we’ll be working with those members to understand what they’re after and what their concerns are going forward.”
“The FMA has come out and said that they’re watching what we do, so we now have a great opportunity to show some leadership within the industry,” she concluded. “For us, it’s about ensuring that we get to the table and be part of that conversation, as opposed to just reacting to it.”