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Monday 2 July 2012

12-149MR Joint ASIC - Financial Markets Authority media release: Trans-Tasman mutual recognition of financial advisers announced

ASIC and New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) have today announced mutual recognition arrangements for Australian and New Zealand financial advisers.

This will enable financial advisers to provide services in each other’s countries based on the qualifications and experience they have attained from their home country.

FMA CEO Sean Hughes said, “The announcement is a significant step which supports our mutual desire for a more dynamic single economic market between New Zealand and Australia – particularly in financial services. It is important that we have taken this early initiative in the area of financial advice – which is so critical to the financial health of our communities on both sides of the Tasman.”

“The existing strong working relationship between FMA and ASIC will be enhanced through our respective implementation of these mutual recognition arrangements across the Tasman. I welcome this opportunity to work closely with our Australian colleagues,” Mr Hughes said.

ASIC Chairman Greg Medcraft said, "The mutual recognition arrangements will strengthen the Australian and New Zealand financial services industries by increasing competition and lowering transaction costs. We hope many financial advisers here and in New Zealand take advantage of this new arrangement."

While the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition legislation already applies to Australian financial services licence holders, most of these licence holders are firms or companies. To enable individual financial advisers with relevant qualifications to operate on either side of the Tasman, both regulators recognised a need for a different mechanism based on the spirit of that legislation.

FMA has granted an exemption for Australian qualified advisers allowing them to apply to be authorised financial advisers (AFAs) in New Zealand based on their existing Australian qualifications.

Australian advisers who hold the specified qualifications will be exempt from the educational qualifications requirements for AFAs set out in the Code of Professional Conduct for AFAs, and will be able to hold a licence relevant to their practice area and qualifications in Australia. The exemption is also subject to a number of other restrictions and conditions, such as compliance with the New Zealand Code of Professional Conduct for AFAs.

To enable New Zealand AFAs to operate in Australia, ASIC has amended its regulatory guides which set out the minimum training requirements for individual financial advisers in Australia. Recognition has been given to New Zealand AFAs and Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE) advisers to enable them to practise in Australia in certain areas.

The trans-Tasman mutual recognition of financial advisers will take effect from 6 July 2012.

Details of FMA’s exemption for Australian advisers to operate in New Zealand:

  • Financial Advisers (Australian Qualified Advisers) Exemption Notice 2012

Details of the ASIC recognition being given to New Zealand AFAs in Australia:

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Last updated: 29/06/2012 12:00