21 Jun 2017

Robo-advice could be on the cards for investors

8:35 pm on 21 June 2017

Robots look poised to break into a new area of work currently reserved for humans - giving financial advice.

Robots

Photo: RNZ

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is looking at whether to allow so called 'robo-advice' to be given to investors.

The current law only allows financial advice to be given by a natural person, and planned law changes to allow advice to be given by a computer programme are at least two years away.

The FMA has the power to give an exemption to the law, which would allow such non-human services by the end of the year. It is asking for feedback on the idea.

FMA director of regulation Liam Mason said robo-advice would help more people to get personalised financial advice.

"We've been looking at ways to enable innovation to help tackle the advice gap in New Zealand, but also to mitigate the risk of poor consumer outcomes."

He said the FMA would want to maintain consumer protection standards but also wants to encourage innovation in the sector.

The consultation paper is available here.

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