Frequently asked questions about ethics, compliance and professional practice
The most commonly asked questions in relation to ethics, compliance and professional practice are answered below. You may search by keyword, or for a full list on all topics see all frequently asked questions.
When do I provide ABS confirmation to the FMA?
The ABS confirmation is included within the Annual AFA Information Return, and is required to be filed by 30 September each year. See ABS annual confirmation for more detail.
Can I send clients a link to my disclosure statement or provide a link to product disclosure statements (PDSs) when recommending investments?
The Financial Advisers Act 2008 (in relation to adviser disclosure statements), and the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (in relation to PDSs) both talk about ‘providing’ or ‘giving’ the relevant document (not giving a link to those documents). Web site links may break and clients won't have access to the disclosure statement (or PDS). In this instance, it cannot be evidenced that the client has been provided with the adviser’s disclosure statement (or a product disclosure statement in respect of the recommended investment). For more information see Website links vs PDFs for sending disclosure documents.
When do I file the limit breaks report?
Within 10 working days of 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December each year – see our Guidance Note for more information.
When do I file the AFA Information Return, and how?
By 30 September each year - see our guidance article for more information.
When is my annual FSPR confirmation due?
The first annual confirmation for a financial service provider (FSP) is not due until the calendar year following registration (for example, if you are registered in 2016, your first annual confirmation will not be due until sometime in 2017). The filing month may be changed but only if the annual confirmation is not already outstanding. Read more about the annual confirmation requirements.
Can a financial adviser certify a CDD document?
No. Financial advisers cannot certify CDD documents. The Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice 2013 contains a list of trusted referees who can certify identity documents. See AML/CFT document certification vs document verification.
What is a related party benefit?
A related-party benefit is a benefit that is either given out of investor property, or creates an exposure to loss for investor property, and is given to, or received by a related party of the service provider (for example a DIMS provider). This does not include fees or expenses paid or reimbursed to the service provider in accordance with the client agreement for that service.
How do I become authorised?
The requirements for authorisation are outlined in the Code of Conduct for Authorised Financial Advisers. An application must be made to the FMA and information on the process is on the FMA website. See How to apply for authorisation for more detail.
What is the difference between an RFA and an AFA?
The key difference is an RFA can only give advice on category 2 products such as insurance. An AFA however, can give advice on investment and insurance products, must meet minimum education requirements, must be authorised by the FMA, and must follow the principles outlined in the Code of Conduct for Authorised Financial Advisers. Find out more about licensing, registration and authorisation requirements.
Do I qualify for an exemption based on my other qualifications?
All recognised alternatives to the Level 5 Certificate are listed in Schedule G of the Code of Conduct for Authorised Financial Advisers.