Benefits of membership

1. The FSF can represent members more cost effectively than if they were to do so themselves:

 

With Government:

  • FSF ensures members’ interests are consistently represented by maintaining strong relationships with politicians, regulators and officials.
  • FSF is an advocate for members to regulators to ensure that members are recognised by them as being the responsible and ethical participants in the financial services sector.
  • FSF works with regulators to ensure that regulatory reforms achieve the best possible balance between the need to provide protection to New Zealand consumers and the ability for members to conduct their business while minimising compliance costs.
  • FSF operates as a conduit between members and the public sector on a range of issues from taxation to business law.
  • FSF obtains legal or accounting opinions in relation to regulatory changes from its professional advisers and makes these available to members to give them an understanding of how such changes will impact their business. It also draws on this professional advice when making submissions to Government.
  • This professional advice more often than not means that members do not have to pay to obtain their own advice.
  • Members are actively included in the process of preparing submissions made on behalf of FSF.
  • FSF is proactively consulted on proposals at the policy development stage and exerts influence before and during the legislative development stage.

With the private sector:

  • FSF has strong relationships with other like-minded industry bodies, particularly the New Zealand Bankers Association, the Financial Services Council, Trustee Corporations Association and Workplace Savings NZ, so that where possible we can speak as one on common issues.
  • FSF also maintains strong relationships with other associations in particular the Retailers Association and the motor vehicle associations.
  • FSF encourages members to use its logo to promote their membership in their advertising and marketing material to demonstrate to the New Zealand public their commitment to responsible and ethical behaviour and to distinguish themselves from players in the industry who do not hold such high ethical standards.
  • FSF has links with and/or is an associate of counterpart industry bodies in Australia, Canada, the UK and the USA and uses these relationships to share ideas of best practice and experiences with regulation.

 

2. The FSF is effective in its work to reduce compliance costs for members:

  • FSF has been able over the years to achieve beneficial modification to the application of numerous statutes.
  • FSF has obtained a variety of exemptions from the Securities Regulations.
  • FSF has fought erosion of the rights of secured parties.
  • FSF was able to achieve exemption from the financial advisers’ regime under the Financial Advisers Act for Point of Sale financiers.

This list is by no means exhaustive. FSF has been instrumental in achieving many concessions from regulators which have directly resulted in reduced compliance costs for members.

 

 

3. FSF resources help members in their day to day business:

  • Regular newsletters and communications to members on a timely and as-required basis and the FSF website keep members fully up-to-date on legislative, regulatory and any other issues relevant to them.
  • FSF provides concise and focused material about trends in specific markets through publications, reports, statistical information and market analysis and access to the member area of the FSF website. FSF can also produce research for members on a one-off basis.
  • FSF runs a variety of Special Interest Groups such as the Tax Working Group, Legal and Compliance Working Group and the Wheels Group (for members providing motor vehicle financing to consumers) who meet regularly to discuss common issues and to provide a forum for best practice sharing and networking amongst peers.
  • FSF organises regular meetings for members at which they can share their views and network with one another. These meetings also include presentations from high profile and relevant guest speakers who will engage with members to get an understanding of what is happening in the financial services sector.

 

4. The FSF promotes business integrity and responsible and ethical behaviour on the part of its members that other financial services sector participants can strive to emulate:

  • Through member commitment to FSF Rules and the Code of Conduct for Members.
  • Through development of Responsible Lending Guidelines to which all members are committed.
  • Through a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Services outlining how NZFFBS and FSF will work together to proactively assist customers in hardship situations.
  • Criteria for membership of the FSF is clearly defined in the Federation’s Rules and strictly adhered to when the Executive considers applications for membership.
  • The FSF has a Disciplinary Committee and a process to discipline members who have potentially brought the non-bank finance sector into disrepute.
  • Audited accounts are produced each year and filed with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.

 

5. Accountability to members:

  • Because joining and remaining a member of FSF is voluntary, it is essential for FSF to remain relevant and responsive to member concerns and information needs and to operate in a cost-effective manner.
  • An annual survey of members ensures that membership of FSF remains relevant and of value to members.

 

6. FSF membership offers value for money:

  • Member needs vary considerably so a range of services are provided from which members are able to take what they need to give their membership value. These services are constantly reviewed following member feedback to ensure they remain of value to members.
  • FSF is frequently able to provide members with a professional opinion as to the impact of regulatory change and how that will impact their compliance programme meaning that members do not need to incur the cost of engaging their own professional advisers.

 

7. Cost to belong to FSF

 

The very modest annual subscriptions to belong FSF by membership category are:

  • Companies with Assets of $0 - $10 million $4,060 + GST
  • Companies with Assets of $10 million to $30 million $5,710 + GST
  • Companies with Assets of $30 million to $60 million $11,475 + GST
  • Companies with Assets of $60 million to $100 million $14,280 + GST
  • Companies with Assets of $100 million + $17,150 + GST
  • Debt collection organisations $4,060 + GST
  • Affiliates $5,710 + GST
  • Associate members $4,060 + GST

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