30 July 2010
The Code Committee today formally recommended that the Commissioner for Financial Advisers consider and approve the Draft Code of Professional Conduct for Authorised Financial Advisers.
The Code specifies 18 minimum standards covering:
- client care
- ethical behaviour
- competence, knowledge and skills, and
- continuing professional training.
Assuming that the draft Code is approved by the Commissioner, and subsequently by the Minister, it is likely that the first advisers will be authorised from 1 December, with the Code setting minimum conduct requirements for all AFAs.
Committee Chair, Ross Butler, said that the development of the Code reflected useful and pragmatic input from consumers, advisers, financial service companies, professional bodies, other agencies, and a wide range of stakeholders.
“The purpose of the Financial Advisers Act is to encourage public confidence in the professionalism and integrity of financial advisers and brokers. We believe that the Code will assist in achieving that outcome.
“We have written the Code in a clear and concise style, so that consumers and advisers should have no doubt as to what are the minimum professional requirements. The Code consists of overarching principles that outline the obligations that Authorised Financial Advisers have to their clients.”
The Code establishes minimum standards of competence for authorisation. Importantly, it requires AFAs to place the interests of their clients first, and to have the competence, knowledge and skills to provide a financial adviser service. They must also undertake continuing professional training, and are required to maintain a professional development plan.
The Code can be found on the Code Committee’s website – www.financialadvisercode.govt.nz
For further comment please contact, Ross Butler, Chairman of the Code Committee (until 3pm today) on 04 472 9830 or after 3pm on 021 359 899.