Financial advisers wishing to offer retail clients personalised financial advice, discretionary investment management services in relation to category 1 products (which include investment products) or provide an investment planning service must be either an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA) or Qualified Financial Entity adviser from 1 July (unless they are an eligible Canterbury adviser affected by the earthquake, in which case the deadline is 1 October 2011). However, in a recent press release, the FMA estimates that up to 700 advisers may not have completed the qualifications needed to be an AFA by 1 July.

The FMA has issued a warning that it will be checking advisers who applied to be authorised but didn't make the deadline and will take action against any person who holds themselves out as authorised after 1 July, who is not.

For details of all financial service providers compliance requirements see the FMA's website at: www.fma.govt.nz/help-me-comply/financial-advisers/