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Take care when referring to memberships

We are usually flat out running our advisory business and what appears to be a little thing like updating the business’ website, social media pages, brochures and stationary to ensure they correctly refer to memberships often gets overlooked. However, with the recent amalgamation of the PAA, IFA, NZFAA into Financial Advice New Zealand, it becomes important that financial advisers correctly reference what organisation they now belong to as one would not want to be accused of breaching section 35 of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FA Act).

Recent compliance reviews have also identified that some advisers still refer to being members of the NZ Mortgage Brokers Association which became PAA a number of years ago and has now itself become Financial Advice New Zealand.

We have also noticed adviser movement between dispute resolution schemes and aggregator groups. If you have made changes in membership, please check that your public-facing material also reflects those changes.

Incorrectly advertising your financial adviser service can be costly. Things like your website, social media pages, brochures, business cards, and in some instances your business stationary, can all be regarded as advertising your service.

What does section 35 of the FA Act say?

"A financial adviser must not advertise a financial adviser service in a way that is misleading, deceptive, or confusing. A person who knowingly or recklessly contravenes this commits an offence and under section 119 of the FA Act on conviction can be fined up to $100,000 in the case of an individual and up to $300,000 in the case of an entity."

Contact us if you have any questions.