By Amanda Morrall
Financial advisors working on either side of the Tasman will be recognised for their professional qualifications under a joint agreement between the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) and New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA).
The FMA, announcing the arrangement today, said the agreement (which takes effect this Friday) will enable financial advisers to provide services in each other’s countries based on the qualifications and experience they have attained from their home country.
To allow New Zealand Authorised Financial Advisors (AFAs) to operate in Australia, ASIC amended its regulatory guides which set out the minimum training requirements for individual financial advisers in Australia. Recognition has been given to New Zealand AFAs and Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE) advisers to enable them to practise in Australia in certain areas.
Sean Hughes, CEO for the FMA said the arrangement supported the mutual desire for a more dynamic single economic market between New Zealand and Australia – "particularly in financial services."
"It is important that we have taken this early initiative in the area of financial advice – which is so critical to the financial health of our communities on both sides of the Tasman," he said.
Greg Medcraft, ASIC chairman said predicted the arrangement would increase competition and lower transaction costs for customers.
"We hope many financial advisers here and in New Zealand take advantage of this new arrangement."
Australian advisers who hold the specified qualifications will be exempt from the educational qualifications requirements for AFAs set out in the Code of Professional Conduct for AFAs, and will be able to hold a licence relevant to their practise area and qualifications in Australia. The exemption is also subject to a number of other restrictions and conditions, such as compliance with the New Zealand Code of Professional Conduct for AFAs.
Details of FMA’s exemption for Australian advisers to operate in New Zealand can be found here
Details of the ASIC recognition being given to New Zealand AFAs in Australia can be found at this link