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Asteron Life set to run regulatory webinars, and more daily news

In response to high demand, Asteron Life is set to run three webinars focused on the upcoming regulatory changes. The webinar will walk advisers through the new requirements and will help them understand what they need to do. Asteron Life has noted that templates for the new process will be available. The three webinars will be held on:

  • Monday 22 February at 1pm
  • Tuesday 23 February at 11am 
  • Tuesday 23 February at 1pm

With just weeks to go, this webinar will step you through the new requirements and help you understand what you need to do. Because each FAP and adviser has different information to disclose, Asteron Life cannot provide templates for the new process.

If you haven’t yet thought about this vital requirement or are still a bit unsure, please enrol for this webinar today - there are three available sessions for you to choose from, click here to register for one now. 

In other news

Partners Life: Naomi Ballantyne hosted a digital ‘Fireside chat’ during Level 3 to discuss things happening within the industry

Financial Advice: Financial Advice made a submission on the proposed guidance on the advertising offers of financial products under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013

Insurance Advisernet Australia: Insurance Advisernet Australia celebrates its 25th year

AIA: AIA is in search of a qualified actuary with experience in pricing to join on a 12 month contract

Gen Re: Finding a Way Forward for Disability Income Insurance in Australia - Is IDII Functioning Sustainably Elsewhere?

RBNZ interns

RBNZ: RBNZ farewells Summer interns


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

18 Feb 2021 – Privacy Commissioner newsletter confirmed that Privacy Week 2021 will take place 10-14 May 2021.

18 Feb 2021 – The former Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Faafoi, released his diary for September 2020, being the final full month before the election held on 17 Oct, with the following potential financial services sector related meetings noted:

  • 1 Sept 2020 - Meeting with Hon Little, NZX and FMA (Mark Peterson and Rob Everett)
  • 15 Sept 2020 – Meeting with FMA (Mark Todd, Rob Everett and Edwin Mitson)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-02/Hon%20Kris%20Faafoi%20-%20Proactive%20Diary%20Release%20-%20September%202020%20.pdf

17 Feb 2021 – FMA media release stating that the FMA fears Chinese New Zealanders are under-reporting investment scams. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/under-reporting-investment-scams/


What should advice cost?

What should advice cost? That was an excellent question from the audience during the first two of our recent getting in shape series. Perhaps this seemingly simple question surprised our panel. The answer to the question is not easy. It was a kind of sub-plot in the day's event: the question of the cost of advice is part of the disclosure story, part of the story about the future of advice, part of the story about the value of advisers solidly backed up by the research shared on the day. When asked what advice should cost the panel made a good beginning - in both Wellington and Auckland the first answer was "it should not be free". This echoed John Botica's  earlier comment during the first panel in Wellington where, talking about disclosure, he asked that any advisers taking commission should not refer to their advice as free. Of course advice isn't free. Often something that is not paid for is not valued. Advice is paid for (whether by fee or commission) and it is valuable. 

The question came up in the context of a discussion about how to make advice more accessible. For people to value advice they must first know it is available, believe it is worth getting - but these are just pre-conditions. Often we know something would be good for us, but don't do it.

Many people struggle with making the time to meet with an adviser - not just because of the time for the meeting, but they fear the time the work around the meeting will take. A good portion of the population are certain that their finances are a mess, and if not, then the musty file of papers definitely is a mess. So they fear judgment. Many people struggle with making room for the cost of advice. If they believe that it will require payment at the time and their budget is already stretched they will be reluctant to make an appointment. Commission has a valuable financing role to play here - but it is not the only mechanism, of course, that can make access to advice easier. 

So although advice should not be free, we need to make it easy to start the process. Which means the initial steps should be free - and easy to do.

Most advisers offer initial discussions at no charge. More can be done to make brief trials of the value of advice accessible. Social media helps, Zoom and MS Teams helps, but nothing quite beats a meeting - and the ability to slip into a 20 minute session on KiwiSaver at lunch or hear ten top tips on managing your home loan at the local mall are probably under-utilised strategies. Now add some tools in the client's first language (which will not be English in about a third of cases in Auckland) and spoken by someone who at least knows your culture a bit... these are access strategies. They reduce the psychological costs (fear of rejection, fear of shame, fear of being exposed as not having 'enough money to qualify for advice'). 


Southern Cross highlights CareHQ, and more daily news

Southern Cross is reminding advisers and members of the CareHQ service. CareHQ is designed to make virtual medical consultations with  New Zealand GPs possible. CareHQ operates from 7am-7pm everyday. The consultations are possible via the CareHQ app. Southern Cross members are able to redeem a 15% discount on the standard price of $65.  Click here to find out more

 

CareHQ can connect your team with trusted medical care, quickly – 7 days a week, 7am-7pm. With the CareHQ app your team is only a few taps away from a virtual GP consultation. And Southern Cross members get a 15% discount if they access CareHQ via the My Southern Cross app – that’s a saving of $10 per consultation off the standard CareHQ price of $65.

 

In other news

 

Congratulations to nib and Pinnacle Life for digital excellence awards, from Insurance Business Mag: Insurance Business New Zealand Awards – winners revealed 

Strategi: On track for 15 March? Check your readiness with our February report card


Asteron Life SME insurance index 2020 findings, and more daily news

Asteron Life’s insurance index 2020 provided insight into the insurance-related decisions made by SMEs. The index illustrated that the number of SMEs with multiple life insurance cover decreased when compared to the findings of 2019, with 38% of SMEs having only one life covered in 2020 and 32% of SMEs having only one life covered in 2019. The index highlighted a decrease in SMEs seeking advice from financial advisers and insurance companies and an increase in independent navigation. The findings of the index conclude that SMEs that received advice were more likely to have a broader range of cover. Of the SMEs that sought advice from advisers, 89%  had life insurance cover, 50% had IP cover, 66% had trauma, illness, cancer cover and 50% had TPD cover. Of the SMEs that didn’t receive advice, 88% had life insurance cover, 27% had IP cover, 43% had trauma, illness, cancer cover and 27% had TPD cover. Click here to see all findings of the 2020 index

 

In other news 

Russell’s piece in Good returns: Data versus human

FMA: Insurance Business "ANZ admits to misleading customers about credit card insurance"

 

 


New FSC research findings, and more daily news

FSC CEO Richard Klipin presented the findings of new research at the FSC Get in Shape summit last week. Unlocking the Potential of Professional Financial Advice was centred around the response of those within the industry to the following questions:

·       How do you feel on the other side of Covid?

·       How ready are you for upcoming regulation changes?

·       What is your outlook for the future?

Klipin noted that findings indicated that the industry is in a time of change with a transition from a sales led approach to an advice led approach. With this change it expected that there will be changes to business models, remuneration models, and client connection methods. The research also showed that advisers had a positive outlook on thepost-COVID-19 reality. 

FSC CEO Richard Klipin unveiled the new research entitled, “Unlocking the Potential of Professional Financial Advice” at the FSC: Get In Shape events this week.

The research shows that the financial advice sector has remained resilient despite the challenges of Covid and regulatory change while continuing to provide ongoing value to Kiwis.

The FSC research committee asked the advice community three questions.

1. How do you feel on the other side of Covid?

2. How ready are you for upcoming regulation changes?

3. What is your outlook for the future?

Klipin said that the conclusion of the research was that “We are in a huge moment of change. We are moving towards the much more level footing of an advice-led [rather than a sales-led] conversation.

“Because of this, business models, remuneration models, how advisers connect with their clients are all going to change. It feels like this moment is unleashing an incredible opportunity for the industry.”

As well as reaffirming previous research that highlighted the benefits of financial advice during times of turmoil, the research also showed that advisers were feeling that they could weather the post-Covid storm.

“What we saw in Covid was a change in how people operated their businesses. The key change in this sector has been the pick up and the take up of technology.

 

The research found that many advisers are preparing themselves for the upcoming regulatory changes, with 57.5% of advisers reporting that they were preparing for changes relating to FSLAA and 32% of advisers saying that they would be ready when the law came into place. The research also highlighted that there generally was a positive response to the upcoming change.

When looking at how ready advisers are for regulation change the numbers are looking even more positive.

“At the end of last year, 57.5% of advisers said that [they] have continued to ready themselves to implement the required changes in FSLAA, 32% said they will be ready when it begins.

“This notion in some parts of the sector [that some are] wondering how ready are people? How many people are out there not doing anything? This data says that most advisers are well down the track.”

According to the research most advisers have a positive outlook for the future. Many of the respondents felt that the incoming regulation changes are positive for customers, and for advisers bothClick here to read more

FSC findings

In other news

FSC: in response to the Lockdown announcement and upcoming regulatory changes, the FSC will be running a Zoom session for those registered for the Christchurch and Dunedin Advice Summits on Wednesday 17 February 2021 from 08.00 until 10.00.

The Zoom session schedule is:

0800:  Welcome from FSC, CEO Richard Klipin

0805:  Opening Session: Hon Dr David Clark, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

0815:  Embedding the changes in the New Zealand Advice Sector

0905:  Comfort break

0910:  Disclosure – Focusing on your responsibilities ahead of 15 March 2021

0935:  Helping New Zealand’s advisers to grow – tools, tips and insights

0955:  Close - FSC, CEO Richard Klipin

 


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector


Chatswood operating at alert level three

With the move to alert level three travel plans for this week have been cancelled. I shall be in touch with each of you to reschedule meetings that were planned for in-person with either Zoom or a tentative alternative date.  Staff are all used to working from home now and are well set-up to do so. We will clear messages and divert the office phone but you may still require mobile numbers to quickly reach Jerusalem, Kelly, Fran, Melissa, Ed, or me - feel free to drop us an email and ask if you do not already have these. 

If you are at an insurer and would like us to help publicise any event changes due to the alert level change please let us know we are happy to blog those for you. 

 


Current FMA vacancies

The FMA is currently looking to fill a number of positions within the organisation. The FMA is seeking an experienced accountant to join the Auckland team as a permanent full-time employee.  There is a search for a new Wellington based Intermediate Solicitor, Enforcement. The FMA is in search for a permanent full-time Senior/Adviser Offer Disclosure in both Auckland and Wellington. A new Head of Investment Management in Auckland and Wellington is set to be recruited.