Plus4 Insurance Group welcomes Financial Advisers Act changes
Plus4 Insurance Solutions (Plus4), the national insurance broking and financial adviser group, has welcomed the planned changes to the Financial Advisers Act (FAA) announced this morning by the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith.
The group which has 56 advisers, has no affiliation to any specific provider and uses independent research to identify solutions that best meet their individual and business client’s requirements.
Plus4 Group General Manager Peter Standish said, “The proposed changes are a step in the right direction and we look forward to seeing the detail of the new regulatory regime when the bill is introduced to Parliament later this year.
“Replacing the confusing adviser designations (AFA & RFA), introducing the requirement that advisers put their client’s interests first and provide advice only where they are competent to do so are particularly welcome.”
Under the proposed changes, the current adviser designations will be replaced with those providing financial advice being known as either a ‘financial adviser’ or an ‘agent’. The changes also herald a universal consumer-first obligation on all those providing advice to put the interests of the consumer first.
“Currently only some advisers have this obligation and these proposed changes are entirely consistent with Plus4’s embedded position around putting the client first. We consider that, if you’re an adviser as opposed to a ‘salesperson’ you have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that the advice you give puts your client’s interests ahead of their own.
“The advice driven process adopted by Plus4, as opposed to a sales and product driven process, means we are very well placed to implement the impending changes as does our ethos of using independent research to choose the ‘best-of-the-best’ when recommending product applications to mitigate personal financial risk with clients. This ethos is also entirely consistent with the recommendations in the paper,” Peter Standish said.
Established in 2008 in Nelson, Plus4 Group members work predominantly with small to medium sized enterprises, their owners and their accountants.