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NZ cuts financial advice regulation

The New Zealand government has re-categorised two investment vehicles in an effort to cut red tape facing financial planners and allow them to provide personalised advice on these products.

In a statement released today, NZ commerce minister Craig Foss announced that low-risk credit union savings accounts and term deposits will be re-categorised from today to provide improved access to financial advice for credit union members.

“As these products are low-risk and easier for consumers to understand, the current regulatory requirements are unnecessary,” the minister said.

“The cost of adhering to the current requirements is preventing some credit unions from advising their member on how to best meet their savings goals.

“The change in category will improve credit union members’ access to financial advice and encourage them to improve their levels of savings and investment.

“Consumers can continue to access to free disputes resolution services, in the event that they are unhappy with the advice they receive.

“The Government is focused on making sure that levels of regulation are appropriate and consistent across the board.”

The move is part of the conservative National Party government’s bid to reduce regulation of the private sector and lift the rate of national savings, the statement said.