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Looking forward to full licensing - but don't wait too long

9 Jun, 6:03am by Matthew Martin

Don't leave it up to your FAP, if you haven't been linked make sure they know because there are only five working days left before deregistration begins.

That is the message from the FMA and Financial Advice NZ to advisers.

As of this time last week, only half of New Zealand's financial advisers had been linked to a FAP or registered themselves with the FSPR so they continue in business.

The numbers who haven't registered are still a concern, according to FMA director of market engagement John Botica, who told FANZ members this is the first milestone on the way to full licencing.

"My suggestion to you is own it. Run with it and talk to your FAP as soon as you can...if you are no longer providing financial advice then voluntarily deregister."

However, linking yourself to a FAP is just the first step in the process and advisers should now be looking at obtaining a full license and the process is not as daunting as it may seem, says the FMA's head of compliance services Anita Frazer.

She says of the 1807 transitional licences approved only 32 applications for full licences have so far been received and the deadline of March 2023 is rapidly approaching.

"So some haste please, we are not seeing enough momentum.

"It's a lifetime licence pretty much, but it's also an iterative process so we don't expect perfection the first time round but we urge you to all think about it now."

Frazer says there are no surprises in the questions advisers need to complete for licensing and can be seen before filling out licensing applications.

After asking for a show of hands, almost all of the room revealed they had not made an application for a full licence.

Frazer added that advisers need not stress too much over the policies and procedures they need to follow as part of the licencing process.

"All we want to know is how you implement these policies, so keep it simple. But this is not a 'set and forget approach, you need to review them all of the time."

Financial Advice NZ chief executive Katrina Shanks says advisers need to make sure they have linked to a FAP and was pleased to see many had done so after her warning to them last week.

“They need to go to the FSPR and see whether they have been linked to a FAP. If they have not then they need to contact their FAP, as they can’t do it themselves."

She says almost all members (except for 58 advisers) have ensured their FSPR records are linked to their FAP ahead of the June 15 deadline.

Shanks says the FMA and her association are there to help and have resources available on their websites to help with the process, and the process of linking an adviser to a FAP is relatively easy.

“The process is extremely simple. You can link more than one person to your FAP at the same time with the same process and log in," Shanks says.

The only issue is that a FAP needs to be the one doing the linking. An adviser cannot link themselves to a FAP, only a FAP can link an adviser to itself.

Financial Planning