New Zealand to legalise robo-advice... in 2019

By David Tuckwell on Thursday 11 May 2017

Savings and Investment

New Zealanders wanting robo-advice are in for a long slog

New Zealand may legalise robo-advice, but on a very slow timeline. 

New Zealand will legalise robo-advice after a lengthy legislative review, clearing the way for robo-advice to be given on financial investments and services in NZ for the first time.

Under NZ law at present, only “natural persons” can legally give financial advice—a regulation which has been salt to the earth for robo-advisors wanting to operate in the country. 

The changes in law will bring NZ in line with other Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions such as Australia, US and the UK.

While the legislative changes will be sweeping - applying to all financial services, insurance, and investment advice - concern has been expressed over the slow progress.

“Under the current timeline, the law won't be changed until at least 2019,” said Geoff Ward-Marshall, a senior associate at the law firm DLA Piper. 

“The FinTech industry is fast moving and there is a real risk that New Zealand firms looking to operate in the robo-advice area will be left behind by their overseas competitors if the reforms don't happen sooner.”

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