A proposed fee scale for the new financial adviser regulatory regime has been released for consultation by the Ministry of Economic Development.
The recommendations are that:
financial service providers and advisers pay a one-off $350 fee to be registered, followed by an annual renewal fee of $60
Authorised Financial Advisers pay $1,385 upfront and $410 annually, and
Qualifying Financial Entities (QFEs) pay $4,630 upfront and $1,140 annually.
“The proposed fees are higher than expected and favour QFE participation” according to Chapman Tripp partner Tim Williams. “The fees proposed for adviser registration are higher than the $160 cost to register a company (including name reservation) - companies do not pay an annual return fee - and higher than the Companies Office charge for reviewing and registering a prospectus ($320). Reviewing a prospectus should require more Companies Office involvement than adviser registration.
“The proposed fees would incentivise those Authorised Financial Advisers who can join a QFE, to do so. Financial planners have to be authorised themselves, so cannot participate in a QFE scheme. Financial advisers who advise on more than one issuer’s category 1 products are also unlikely to be able to join a QFE scheme (although it is not yet clear whether such advisers can avoid authorisation by being a member of multiple QFE schemes).”
Additional costs proposed include $35 per person annually for criminal history checks and a $30 annual contribution to the administration costs of the dispute resolution scheme.
All fees include GST and will be payable to the Companies Office. It is proposed that the fee levels be reviewed within three years from the date that registration becomes compulsory (expected to be 1 December next year).
Further fees still under development are the levy payable by members of the reserve dispute resolution scheme and the operational levy proposed to cover the Securities Commission’s costs in respect of surveillance and enforcement across the financial adviser profession.
Submissions on the proposed fee scale should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date is 13 November 2009.
For further information or assistance, please contact Tim Williams or Penny Sheerin.