Why Become a Member?
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1. The FSF can represent members more effectively than if they were to do so alone.
To Government, Policy Makers and Regulators:
- 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.
- We make sure members’ interests are always represented by maintaining strong relationships with politicians, regulators and officials. FSF is proactively consulted on proposals of policy development and exerts influence before and during the legislative development stage
- FSF provides education to members to give them an understanding of how regulation changes will impact their business including obtaining legal or accounting opinions from its professional advisers where necessary.
- FSF representation avoids the perception of self-interest that might arise if individual companies were to do so themselves.
With the private sector and the public:
- 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 strong relationships with other like-minded industry bodies, particularly the New Zealand Bankers Association, the Insurance Council, the Motor Trade Association, Trustee Corporations Association, Workplace Savings NZ and the Financial Services Council, so that where possible we can speak as one on common issues.
- 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.
- FSF has a strong media and social media profile to proactively provide the voice of the responsible participants in the finance company, leasing and credit-related insurance sectors and is actively sought after for comment by media sources.
2. Real results in your company’s pocket
FSF has been able to achieve beneficial modification to the application of numerous statutes. FSF has been instrumental in achieving many concessions from regulators which have directly resulted in either reduced compliance costs or in members retaining the ability to carry on business as usual without undue regulatory interference and continues to look for ways in which they can continue to do so. The following list is by no means exhaustive:
- 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. The FSF was also able to achieve similar exemptions for Point of Sale financiers from the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act.
- FSF successfully pushed for a substantial change to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Amendment Act 2014 (“CCCFA”) to allow finance providers to be paid commission on credit-related insurances when they finance the premium as part of the loan.
- FSF achieved outcomes to the disclosure regulations in support of the CCCFA relating to the way in which the borrower’s right to cancel and the minimum repayment warning on monthly credit card statements is disclosed that saved members hundreds of thousands of dollars in systems costs.
- FSF advocated for high value goods dealers to have limited suspicious transaction reporting obligations under Phase 2 of the AML/CFT Act.
- FSF strongly advocated for the exemption of consumer credit contract providers from the requirements of the revised financial advisers’ regulatory regime during the process of the review of the Financial Advisers Act. This has been achieved in the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament in August 2017.
3. Information is key
- 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 (or can significantly reduce the cost) of engaging their own professional advisers.
- Regular newsletters and communication to members via the Members Hub on the FSF website keeps members fully up-to-date on legislative, regulatory and any other issues relevant to them.
- FSF runs a variety of special interest groups targeted at particular sectors of the membership. These are the Tax and Finance Working Group, Legal and Compliance Working Group, the Wheels Working Group (for members providing motor vehicle financing to consumers), the Insurance Working Group (for credit-related insurance providers), the Fraud Working Group and the Leasing Working Group. These Groups meet regularly to discuss common issues and to provide a forum for best practice sharing and networking amongst peers.
- FSF organises regular meetings featuring presentations from high profile and relevant guest speakers who engage with members to get an understanding of what is happening in the financial services sector.
- FSF provides concise and focused material about trends in specific markets through publications, reports, statistical information and market analysis.
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:
- This is done through member commitment to FSF Rules, Code of Conduct, the development of Codes of responsible behaviour to which all members are committed. These include the Responsible Lending Guidelines, the Code of Responsible Borrowing and the Responsible Credit-Related Insurance Code.
- FSF members work together with properly accredited budget advisers to proactively refer customers to assist them in hardship situations or where they have had finance declined.
- Criteria for membership of the FSF is clearly defined in the Federation’s Rules and the Executive ensures these and other due diligence (including discussions with the Commerce Commission, disputes resolution schemes and budget advisory services) are taken into account when they consider applications for membership.
- The FSF has a Disciplinary Committee and a process to discipline members who have potentially brought the Federation and the sector into disrepute. Disciplinary action can include termination of membership in appropriate circumstances.
- The FSF acts as a whistle-blower to regulators whenever instances of non-compliance with legislation or regulation are identified. This provides regulators with an independent source of complaint which is more likely to be acted upon than if laid by an industry competitor. This also ensures that a level playing field in respect of compliance is maintained and competitive advantage cannot be gained by not being fully compliant.
- Audited accounts for FSF 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 in order to continually add value for membership subscriptions and to operate in a cost-effective manner.
- The Executive Committee of the FSF is made up of representatives from member organisations and the Committee determines how the FSF is run to ensure it achieves its strategic goals, remains relevant and continues to add value to members. Wherever possible the Committee is made up of representation from each sector of the membership – e.g. motor vehicle finance providers, consumer finance providers, leasing and insurance providers.
- 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. Regular surveys of members ensure that membership of FSF remains relevant and of value to members.
6. Cost to belong to FSF
The very modest annual subscriptions to belong FSF by membership category as at financial year 2017-18 are:
$0 - $10 million $ 5,000 + GST
$10 - $30 million $6,250 + GST
$30 - $75 million $12,000 + GST
$75 - $100 million $15,000 + GST
Over $100 million $18,000 + GST
Affiliate members $ 5,000 + GST
Apply for membership
Please send forms to firstname.lastname@example.org