« January 2021 | Main | March 2021 »

AIA Cancer Care announced, and more daily news

AIA has announced the introduction of AIA Cancer Care. AIA highlights that the Ministry of Health reported that 23,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with cancer each year. AIA is offering customers the option of purchasing AIA Cancer Care. AIA Cancer Care will cover the medical expenses relating to diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Benefits of AIA Cancer Care include unlimited cancer surgical benefit, access to specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and Pharmac as well as non-Pharmac Medsafe indicated cancer chemotherapy drugs. Customers with eligible policies will be able to join AIA Vitality and earn Airpoints from premiums paid.

Key benefits include:

  • $500,000 extensive cover for cancer treatment and recovery
  • Access to Pharmac and non-Pharmac Medsafe indicated cancer chemotherapy drugs
  • Options to have treatments overseas

“In New Zealand 23,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year1. While this is an alarming statistic, many cancers can be successfully treated if diagnosed early. In the unfortunate event that you’re diagnosed with cancer, having more choice and control over your treatment plan can make your journey to recovery much easier.

AIA Cancer Care will take care of medical expenses associated with the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of cancer. This includes access to an unlimited cancer surgical benefit, access to specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and Pharmac and non-Pharmac Medsafe indicated cancer chemotherapy drugs.​

With eligible policies you also get the added benefit of earning Airpoints Dollars™ for premiums paid, and have the opportunity to join AIA Vitality, a science-backed health and wellbeing program that rewards your healthy choices.” Click here to read more

AIA Cancer Care 11 Feb 2021 2

In other news

Generate: From FMA to Generate

Kiwi Adviser Network: Make running your advice business effortless

nib environmental and waste report


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health sector

12 Feb 2021 - FMA release advising that ANZ admits breaching FMC Act for misleading representations over credit card insurance charges. A hearing to determine the penalty was held today at the High Court at Auckland. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/anz-admits-breaching-fmc-act/

12 Feb 2021 – ASIC announced that six of Australia's largest banking and financial services institutions (AMP, ANZ, CBA, Macquarie, NAB and Westpac) have paid or offered a total of $1.24 billion in compensation, as at 31 December 2020, to customers who suffered loss or detriment because of fees for no service misconduct or non-compliant advice. https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/find-a-media-release/2021-releases/21-023mr-asic-update-compensation-for-financial-advice-related-misconduct-as-at-31-dec-2020/

11 Feb 2021 – MBIE published updated guidance to help lenders comply with their responsible lending obligations. Most of the updated Code will come into effect on 1 October 2021, at the same time as the law changes it references. The new Chapter 12, which contains guidance on missed payments and repayment difficulties, will come into force four months later. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/updated-responsible-lending-guidance-published/

11 Feb 2021 – FMA announced its General Counsel, Nick Kynoch, had resigned and would leave the regulator in late February. Director of Regulation Liam Mason would become the FMA’s Acting General Counsel. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-announces-senior-leadership-change/

11 Feb 2021 – RBNZ released a paper focused upon the extent to which economic researchers use improper methods to produce more “starry” results. For example, researchers often have to decide whether to delete suspicious-looking data points. If researchers use that freedom to favour “starry” results, their work will suffer from exaggeration. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research-and-publications/discussion-papers/2021/dp2021-01


AMP sale proposal falls through, and more daily news

AMP has revealed that the non-binding sale proposal made by Ares Management in October 2020 will not proceed. AMP has highlighted that it will continue to engage with Ares Management in regards to AMP Capital’s portfolio review. The AMP Board has confirmed that a transformation strategy for AMP Australia and AMP NZ wealth management is likely to be the best option for shareholders.

“In a portfolio review of FY20, AMP have revealed that Ares Management have withdrawn their non-binding indicative proposal to buy out AMP.

The report stated that, “Following detailed discussions, AMP has been advised last night by Ares that it does not intend to proceed with its non-binding indicative proposal for 100% of AMP [at] $1.85 per share.”

While acquisition of AMP is off the table, the report states that, “AMP continues to engage constructively with Ares in relation to AMP Capital as part of the portfolio review.”

While the U-turn from global asset management giant, Ares, may come as a surprise to some, AMP’s broader position is one of positivity according to the report.

“The review has confirmed AMP’s transformation strategy for the AMP Australia (Australian wealth management and AMP Bank) and New Zealand wealth management businesses is likely to be the optimal outcome for shareholders. The AMP Board has therefore concluded the review of these assets.”” Click here to read more

In other news

Partners Life: Module 6 of Adviser Support Programme, titled final checks, is set to be released March 2021

Russell’s piece on Goodreturns: Smug or Juggling?

Cigna: Cigna December COVID-19 global impact study


FSC Get in Shape summit kicks off, and more daily news

The FSC Get in Shape summit kicked off on Tuesday in Wellington. The two-part conference begun with the advice summit that was made up of different panels with industry experts. The advice summit included an address by Minister David Clark. The second part of the conference was the Masterclass that was focused on licensing, disclosure and advice. The next conference will be in Auckland, followed by conferences in Christchurch and Dunedin next week.

Thumbnail_IMG_8683

Trisha Edmonds, Head of Advisory Distribution Funds at ANZ is pictured leading a panel that includes chair of the Financial Advice Code Working Group Angus Dale-Jones, FMA Director of Market Engagement John Botica, FMA Principal Consultant - Market Engagement Derek Grantham, and MBIE Manager Financial Markets Sharon Corbett

In other news

Financial Advice: Financial Advice reports that there have been 1,467 transitional licences issued as of this week with 774 authorised bodies attached to licences. This covers 9,600 advisers. 

PAA: PAA Legacy Trust calling for 'innovation' from advisers

FSC: Out of retirement villages and into the FSC


RBNZ to support stakeholders affected by breach, and more daily news

RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr has said that all stakeholders affected by the recent data breach are currently being notified. RBNZ is also supporting organisations who had sensitive files downloaded. Orr has noted that Accellion, a US cloud solution company, failed to notify RBNZ of a global data breach on its customers. Orr says that RBNZ could have avoided the breach if Accellion had issued a prompt warning. RBNZ has now ensured that external legal advisers are conducting assurance checks as well as having IDCARE, a specialist national identity and cyber support service, provide advice to those affected.

“Governor Adrian Orr says the Bank has completed its assessment of the files illegally downloaded during the breach and is notifying organisations involved. External legal advisers are also providing assurance checks and advice on any personal information which was included in the downloaded files.

“We had no warning to avoid the attack which began in mid-December. Accellion failed to notify the Bank for five days that an attack was occurring against its customers around the world, and that a patch was available that would have prevented this breach.”

“If we were notified at the appropriate time, we could have patched the system and avoided the breach. Our own analysis has identified shortcomings in our processes once the system was breached. The impact this had is part of the review underway.”

“For security reasons, we can’t provide specific details about the number of files downloaded, or information they contain. We have been in regular communication with all organisations who have had files illegally downloaded.

“As a priority, we have engaged with the organisations whose files contained sensitive information, to support them and assist in managing the impact on their customers and staff.

We are working directly with these organisations to determine how many people had sensitive personal information compromised and we will ensure they are well supported.”

The Bank has engaged a specialist national identity and cyber support service IDCARE, to provide advice and support to people affected by the breach at no cost to them. We continue to work closely with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.” Click here to read more 

In other news

RBNZ: Financial stability strengthened by firmer LVR restrictions

Cigna: Cigna reports lower-than-expected profit for Q4


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

3 Feb 2021 – FMA Chief Executive Rob Everett spoke at the Financial Services Council Outlook 2021 event about a year in review, a look to the year ahead and key learnings from the challenging year that was 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/speeches-and-presentations/rob-everett-fsco-2021/

8 Feb 2021 – Government announced that, from 9 Feb 2021, employers can receive a $350 payment if their employees cannot work from home while awaiting a COVID-19 test result. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-covid-19-payment-supports-businesses

9 Feb 2021 – RBNZ announced that it is putting in place more stringent loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions. The LVR restrictions do not apply to new residential construction. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/02/financial-stability-strengthened-by-firmer-lvr-restrictions

9 Feb 2021 – Treasury released the 2021 Budget Policy Statement. https://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/budget-policy-statement/budget-policy-statement-2021

9 Feb 2021 – Minister of Finance speech delivered on the Budget Policy Statement. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-bnz-breakfast-budget-policy-statement

9 Feb 2021 – Minister of Health congratulated the inaugural Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission and its board, as the Commission marked its first day as an independent Crown entity. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/mental-health-and-wellbeing-commission-gets-work

9 Feb 2021 – The 2021 Parliamentary session commenced today.


Australia: adviser numbers heading further down

David Chaplin's Investment News has this piece on the adviser numbers in Australia after their recent regulatory changes. Numbers are almost a third down in 2018. Although the article quotes some slightly more upbeat news from those that are getting qualifications ahead of full implementation they make worrying reading for those that take a view more based on client access to advice and with half an eye on efficient markets. Advisers that choose to remain can look forward to a lot less competition due to reduced numbers - while clients will have to hunt around for advisers with the range of services to meet their needs, and those not able to pay the high fees becoming increasingly common will have to make do with DIY and direct. 


FMA action plan and projections for 2021, and more daily news

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

In other news

Swiss Re Partnership Targets Breakthrough in Life Insurance Underwriting

Fidelity Life: Simon Pennington, Fidelity Life chief financial officer, has said that Fidelity Life has received COVID-19 related claims

Fidelity Life: currently 630 customers have taken up premium deferrals and other financial hardship provisions