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When speaking at the FSC Outlook 2021 breakfast FMA CEO Rob Everett discussed the areas of focus for the FMA. In his speech Everett mentioned that legislative changes, volatile markets, market conduct, and the regulatory perimeter will to key areas of interest. Regardless of the events of last year, Everett noted that conduct, culture, and customer and investor needs will remain a focal point in the coming year.

“While most people are spending January trying to forget the “unprecedented” nature of 2020, FMA chief executive Rob Everett used his first speech of the year to look back at what lessons the financial community can take into 2021.

Speaking at the FSC Outlook 2021 breakfast event, Everett said that while the pandemic forced everyone to rethink how they manage risks and remain resilient, one thing that remained constant at the FMA was “conduct, culture and a relentless focus on the needs of customers and investors”.

Key areas that Everett said the FMA would focus on included: volatile markets, market conduct, the regulatory perimeter and of course, the upcoming legislative reform.”

Everett acknowledged that upcoming legislative changes are a huge challenge for both the industry and the regulator. Everett said that he is optimistic about reaching a sensible place and building consumer confidence in the financial advice industry. In his speech Everett highlighted that CoFI has remained a bill as a result of issues raised in the select committee hearing, while also noting that the FMA will be responsible for monitoring climate related financial disclosures.

“Regarding legislative reform, Everett admitted that the slew of changes heading down the pipeline are a huge challenge for the regulator as well as the financial community.

“There is still much water to flow under the advice bridge but I’m optimistic that we will get to a sensible place and deliver on our collective goal to maintain and build consumer confidence in the value of financial advice.”

Before he reminded anyone who may have forgotten that come March 15 you will need a transitional licence to continue to give financial advice.

Lamenting that the CoFI bill has remained a bill, Everett said, “While we didn’t agree with everything aired in the select committee, it was a valuable process to consider where the draft legislation had undercooked or overcooked the objectives it was meeting.

“The legislation will usher in a much wider remit for the FMA in regulating banks and insurers. We face a major challenge to both retool ourselves as a consumer-focused regulator and to actively supervise a much bigger number of firms.”

The FMA expressed a vehement commitment to the new regime of climate related financial disclosures, with Everett committing that “The FMA will be responsible for regulating this area. We’re currently working with XRB [the External Review Board], which will set the standards and rules for the new regime, as well as other government agencies as we prepare for this.” Click here to read more

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