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When changes come into effect

Page last updated: 20 Feb 2019

On 8 April 2019, the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill received Royal Assent.

This means that from the start of the new regime, you can only give advice to retail clients if you operate under a financial advice provider licence. You can hold your own licence, or you can work on behalf of someone else who holds a licence.

There will be two phases to the licensing process – transitional and full.

At this stage, the earliest we will start accepting transitional licence applications is three months after the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs approves the new Code of Conduct for financial advice. We will keep you informed as dates become more certain. Keep an eye on this page for updates.  

Below are the various steps that must happen to implement the changes. For indicative dates, see the timeline from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE)

August 2017

Financial Advice Code Working Group begins developing new Code of Conduct – (this started in August 2017).

December 2017

Bill referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee.

February 2018

Submissions on the Bill closed.

July 2018

Select Committee report due.

April 2019

Parliament passed the Bill and it received Royal Assent.

Step 4

New Code of Conduct is approved by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. New regulations are developed, consulted on and finalised.

Step 5

Transitional licensing opens. We will be accepting applications for approximately six months.

Step 6

Full licensing opens six months after transitional licensing opens.

  • Transitional licences come into effect and all financial advice providers with retail customers must now hold a transitional licence. A transitional licence is valid for up to two years and enables financial advisers and nominated representatives to continue providing the advice they were legally able to provide before the new regime was introduced. This gives you time to meet any new competence, knowledge and skills standards needed.
  • To continue providing advice, all financial advisers and nominated representatives must be engaged by a financial advice provider with a transitional licence.
  • New regime and new Code of Conduct comes into effect.
  • All new obligations and duties apply.
  • Competency exemption comes into effect. You can continue providing the advice you were legally allowed to provide before the new regime came into effect while you work towards achieving the new competency standards.
  • You can now apply for a full licence.
  • Financial Advisers Act repealed.
  • FMC Act and FSP Act amended to reflect new regime (to the extent not already done).
Step 7

After two years, the transitional licence period ends, all remaining transitional licences expire and advice can no longer be provided under a transitional licence. If you’re a financial advice provider, you must have a full licence to continue providing financial advice. If you’re not applying for your own licence, you must be engaged by a licensed financial provider who covers you under their licence. The competency exemption also expires and you must meet the competency requirements under the Code of Conduct.