Page last updated: 24 May 2021

What to expect from your financial adviser

New Zealand law entitles you to minimum standards of service when you deal with a licensed financial advice provider.  Most financial advice providers must be licensed by the Financial Markets Authority and comply with a code of professional conduct. We monitor and enforce these standards. We believe you should also expect these minimum standards from the broader financial services industry. 

All advisers must follow the new Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services, which includes provisions that all advisers treat clients fairly, act with integrity, and give financial advice that is suitable.


They have the skills and experience to offer you the right service or product for your needs. They provide their products and services with care, diligence, and skill. They tell you if there are limits to what they can provide, and why.

They should balance their business needs with yours, and tell you about any conflicts of interest. They should tell you if they get paid by someone other than you – for example through commission. They should act in your interests, treat you honestly and fairly, and fulfill their duties and obligations.

They should listen to what you want and help you understand your options. They should encourage you to weigh up the pros and cons of your decision before you make it. They should keep in touch with you, and help if something goes wrong.

They should clearly explain what you will be paying, now and in the future, for their products and services. And why those fees are reasonable for those products and services.

They should enable their staff to do the right thing for their customers. They should identify and manage problems, and respond constructively if you make a complaint. If you can’t resolve an issue by dealing directly with your provider, they should direct you to their disputes resolution scheme.

Financial Advice Code website