24 September 2020

John Botica speaking at the Financial Advice New Zealand 2020 Conference: Bounce

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Financial Advice New Zealand 2020 Conference – 24 September 2020

Notes may differ slightly from speech as delivered.

Hello everyone.

There’s no doubt that the past six months have really changed our world.

Six months and more than 10 million confirmed COVID cases around the globe. It’s catalysed a research revolution as scientists, doctors and experts of all kinds have worked at breakneck speed to understand the virus. 

The learning has been rapid for all of us – six months ago none of us would have imagined we would be attending this conference via Zoom call.

So, what have we learnt about ourselves through all of this? And what have we all learnt about each other?

You’ve told us that it hasn’t been easy for you, your business, nor for your clients. But that you’ve developed a good level of operational resilience.

As for the markets – the global financial system, fiscal and monetary stimulus, access to markets, liquidity, and the flow of capital have all continued to function.

Our capital and regulatory frameworks have also, I think, adapted well.

Overall, our sector has proved itself, and I thank you for the role each of you has had to play by continuing to support your clients.

However, there’s a legacy we still need to tackle.

Too many New Zealanders remain underinsured. Too many New Zealanders under save. Too many New Zealanders have too much personal debt.

It is the responsibility of every one of us here today – product providers, Government, financial advisers and the FMA – to work together to guide consumers to make better decisions about their financial futures.

There’s no doubt we will have further challenges ahead.

We also have a new financial advice regime to implement by 15 March 2021 of next year –now only five months away. 

But if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can do this.

Because when you unpack the new rules – such as those around disclosure, for example – they are all about simply continuing to do those things that we have all learned we are already capable of.

They’re all about doing the right things to support New Zealanders to make informed decisions about their financial futures.

That means if you:

  • a) act honestly;
  • b) act fairly;
  • c) act professionally;
  • d) act in the best interests of your clients … you’re already there.

You’re already doing the things New Zealand needs and that the new regime expects.

It’s about giving practical, sensible, suitable advice. And it’s about never cutting corners.

Lastly, I’d just like to say, we genuinely want you to succeed. 

As New Zealand recovers, your role as financial advisers will continue to be incredibly important.

Your clients need you. New Zealand needs you.

And we recognise these much-needed changes cannot happen without you.

Thank you all.