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Life insurance fails to tempt Kiwis to seek advice

Only 15% of older New Zealanders consider insurance a prompt to seek financial advice, a new survey has found.

The Commission for Financial Capability and the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) study questioned 1052 people aged over 50 last month.

The most popular reason for turning to an adviser is receipt of an unexpected sum of money.

About 59% of respondents have never spoken to a financial adviser.

Some 93% say integrity would be the most important factor in picking an adviser.

Disclosure of links between an adviser and the products they offer is considered important by 84%. Qualifications (82%) and quality of customer service (83%) are other key factors.

About 67% of respondents say disclosure of fees and commissions is important, but 70% say the actual cost is more important.

FMA Director of Regulation Liam Mason says the survey shows people see barriers to finding an adviser, including concerns about advice being in their best interests.

“The concerns coming through these surveys confirm the issues that have been raised in the review of legislation surrounding financial advice,” he said.

“We encourage the public and all sections of the industry to get involved in the review and make their own submissions on the options that have been proposed to improve current regulations.”

An options paper has been released under the New Zealand Government’s review of financial advice, with the deadline for submissions in February.

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