New Zealand Law Society - Personalised robo-advice OK, says FMA

Personalised robo-advice OK, says FMA

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The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) says it has decided to grant an exemption to enable financial advisers to provide personalised robo-advice.

This follows FMA consultation earlier this year on whether it should use its exemption powers to enable personalised robo-advice (also known as online or digital advice) under the current financial advice regime.

Current legislation requires personalised advice to be delivered by a natural person, restricting the ability to provide personalised robo-advice. The FMA says the Financial Advisers Act, passed in 2008, did not contemplate robo-advice.

It says after considering submissions it has decided to grant an exemption. Providers will need to apply to the FMA to rely on the exemption, and the FMA says it aims to start this process in early 2018.

"Finalising the exemption requires a further consultation, in November, on the details of the application process and drafting of the exemption notice.

"The FMA has decided not to impose financial limits on personalised robo-advice and the eligible product list has been expanded to include mortgages and personal insurance products," it says.

Companies and firms which want to offer personalised robo-advice services will need to apply to the FMA to rely on the exemption. Companies will have to provide good character declarations for directors and senior managers as well as information showing they have the capability and competence to provide the robo-advice service.