10 April 2018

Cutting fine print from financial information: public and sector urged to have their say

Hon Kris Faafoi
10 April 2018

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi is encouraging public feedback on proposed regulations that will make it easier for consumers to understand the whole picture when receiving financial advice.

“I want consumers to make the best decisions they can during their financial planning so ensuring important information is available and easy to understand is crucial. For example, information hidden in fine print isn’t helpful to consumers – that might be information about commissions or incentives that the provider receives, and the fees that will be charged.

“Consumers should have that information to assist them to decide, for example, whether to obtain advice from a particular provider. I want to make sure that important information is presented in simple terms that consumers understand. “

The proposed regulations support the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill, which introduces a new regulatory regime for financial advice. The discussion paper seeks feedback from industry and consumers on what information should be given to consumers in relation to financial advice, says Mr Faafoi.

“I am also seeking feedback on a discussion paper outlining proposed regulations to support measures in the Bill to address the misuse of the Financial Service Providers Register.

“Some mainly offshore-controlled entities have been “free-riding” off New Zealand’s reputation for sound financial markets regulation by using their registration to imply that they are actively regulated in New Zealand when that is not the case. I want feedback on the proposals that aim to address this unscrupulous behaviour.

“I encourage consumers and people in the financial services industry to provide feedback on the proposed regulations.”