New Zealand en route to legalising robo-advice

Some good news for Kiwi robo-advisors.

The road to legalising robo-advice in New Zealand has been long. But there’s finally some good news for would-be Kiwi robo-advisors: progress.

According to DLA Piper, the magic circle law firm leading the lobbying campaign, the New Zealand government has introduced a new bill that will allow financial advice to be given by robots.

At present, New Zealand only allows “natural persons” to give financial advice, a category which excludes robo-advisors.

The new bill, however, will abolish the “natural persons” distinction and allow robo-advisors to open shop.

According to DLA Piper, the Kiwi government is also hoping to future-proof financial services by leaving room in the legislation for tech developments and improvements.

Other aspects of the bill include provisions to protect investors’ best interests and avoid the cronyism that has become a dread feature of financial advice – both robotic and human.

“The bill [will require]… a person providing financial advice to give priority to a client’s interests, including by taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the advice is not materially influenced by their own interests or those they are representing or with whom they are associated,” DLA Piper said.

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