Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

19 Oct 2021 – The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its Life Insurance Claims and Disputes Statistics publication, covering a rolling 12-month period from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-and-asic-publish-latest-data-on-life-insurance-claims-and-disputes-4

19 Oct 2021 - Ombudsman’s 2020-2021 Annual Report published together with the Ombudsman’s Strategic Intentions for 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2026. https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/ombudsmans-2020-2021-annual-report-published


APRA Life insurance industry statistics release and more daily news

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) today released its Quarterly Life Insurance Performance Statistics publication for the June 2021 quarter.

The update provides an industry level view including showing premium growth and profitability by line of product. It clearly shows the serious problem with income protection contracts that has led to substantial changes being imposed by the regulator.

As a guide to the sector in Australian it is excellent. It is also an exemplar of how sector level information could be provided for the benefit of consumers, advisers, and the industry. Link

 

Other daily news: 

FMA Covid-19 Update – Essential Services, AML/CFT Reports and Financial Licensing and more. Link

CDC Study reveals unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to land in hospital with Covid-19. Read the article here: Unvaccinated people are 29 times more likely to land in the hospital with COVID-19 than those who got the shot, a new CDC study reveals (businessinsider.com.au)

Partners Life Product changes and Benefit Improvements effective 12 July 2021: Download Product Changes and Benefit Improvements effective 12 July 2021

 


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

18 Aug 2021 – APRA advised that it is set to publish a greater breadth of industry-aggregate data for the general insurance and life insurance sectors. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-increases-transparency-around-publication-of-life-and-general-insurance

19 Aug 2021 – FMA updated its web post with more information on the effect of Covid-19 Level 4 restrictions on financial services firms. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/covid-19/government-announcement-workplaces-that-can-open-at-level-4/


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

3 Aug 2021 – APRA released the results and key learnings from its stress testing of on life and general insurers during Covid19 in 2020. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/stress-testing-insurers-during-covid-19-results-and-key-learnings

3 Aug 2021 - Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr announced that they have updated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy to further protect the financial system and support the Government’s housing objectives. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/finance-minister-and-rbnz-governor-agree-update-mou-macro-prudential-policy

3 Aug 2021 – RBNZ announced that it will soon begin consulting on ways to tighten mortgage lending standards, including:

  • restricting the amount of lending banks can do above an LVR of 80 percent to 10 percent of all new loans, down from 20 percent at present, to come into effect on 1 Oct 2021.
  • implementing Debt-to-Income (DTI) restrictions and/or interest rate floors in an effort to provide further comfort that borrowing is sustainable, to be introduced at a later date.

https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/08/reserve-bank-considers-tighter-mortgage-lending-standards


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

18 June 2021 – MBIE published a response to the review completed by PwC on the Research and Development Tax Incentive. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/research-and-development-tax-incentive-pwc-report/

18 June 2021 – NZX announced four appointments to the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal for a three-year term, including John Dixon QC, Pip Dunphy, Dave Roberton and Rachael Newsome. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/374147

17 June 2021 – APRA released annual life insurance supplementary statistical tables and biannual life insurance institution-level statistics for December 2020. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-life-insurance-supplementary-statistical-tables-and-0

17 June 2021 – FMA update released including comment on:

  • Research results on KiwiSaver switching during COVID-19, which showed a high level of switching among young people.

https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/high-kiwisaver-switching-during-covid19/

  • Gillian Boyes, FMA Manager Investor Capability, has written how the new research points to different ways KiwiSaver providers may better support investors when uncertainty next hits world markets.

https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/fma-stories/kiwisaver-fund-switching-and-the-young

  • Financial advice update: Focus shifts to full FAP licensing, with a link to the licensing Guide and application kit

https://www.fma.govt.nz/assets/Licensing-guides/Introductory-guide-to-full-licence-requirements.pdf

  • Financial statements - extension to filing requirements

https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/covid-19/temp-extension-reporting/

  • Auditor regulation and oversight plan 2021-2024

https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/reports-and-papers/auditor-regulation-and-oversight-plan/

  • Lender responsibilities - information sheet update

https://www.fma.govt.nz/compliance/guidance-library/financial-advice-given-for-the-purpose-of-complying-with-lender-responsibilities/

  • Class exemption - Catalist issuers making 'same class' offers and small offers

https://www.fma.govt.nz/compliance/exemptions/current-exemption-notices/financial-markets-conduct-act-exemptions/financial-markets-conduct-catalist-public-market-exemption-notice-2021/

  • Class exemption - Employee share purchase schemes

https://www.fma.govt.nz/compliance/exemptions/current-exemption-notices/financial-markets-conduct-act-exemptions/financial-markets-conduct-employee-share-purchase-schemes-exemption-notice-2021/

17 June 2021 – RBNZ advised it had finalised bank capital rules and improved the format of banking rules. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/06/reserve-bank-finalises-bank-capital-rules-improves-format-of-banking-rules

15 June 2021 - New research released by the Financial Services Council (FSC) revealed the rise of the digital investor; micro-investing platforms and technology. https://www.fsc.org.nz/bulletin_display/x_blog_code/2150.html

16 June 2021 - Office of the Privacy Commissioner web post advised of its proactive approach to remind and warn individual organisations of their statutory responsibilities under the Privacy Act 2020, including three recent examples. https://privacy.org.nz/blog/opc-sends-warnings-to-organisations-to-get-it-right-next-time/

16 June 2021 – RBNZ advised of its updated shared Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy with the Minister of Finance, including adding debt serviceability restrictions to the list of potential tools available. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/06/debt-serviceability-restrictions-added-to-policy-toolkit


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

24 May 2021 – Advertising Standards Authority calls for submissions on the review of its Code for Financial Advertising, with submissions closing on 30 June 2021. https://www.asa.co.nz/2021/05/24/media-release-consultation-on-code-for-financial-advertising/

25-27 May 2021 – APRA released statistics for life insurance, general insurance and superannuation in Australia. https://www.apra.gov.au/

25 May 2021 – Government Minister, Hon David Parker, announced that the temporary regime, introduced to protect New Zealand assets from falling unnecessarily into foreign ownership during the COVID pandemic, will end on 7 June. bringing into place a narrower national security and public order call-in power. This allows screening of investments in strategically important businesses that do not normally require consent under the Overseas Investment Act, such as those involving the acquisition of military technology or critical national infrastructure. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/emergency-screening-overseas-investments-end-economy-recovers


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

19 Apr 2021 – Dentons Kensington Swan advised that the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had consulted private sector stakeholders on an update to FATF guidance on the risk-based approach to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers, with consultation having opened on 19 March 2021 and with submissions closing on 20 April 2021.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfrecommendations/documents/public-consultation-guidance-vasp.html

20 Apr 2021 – APRA and ASIC released a Life Insurance Claims and Disputes Statistics publication, covering a rolling 12-month period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-and-asic-publish-latest-data-on-life-insurance-claims-and-disputes-3

21 Apr 2021 – FMA media release stating that it was warning the funds management industry to avoid advertising large investment returns for the 12-month period to March 31, 2021, as this could mislead investors. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/advertising-investment-returns-could-mislead-investors/

21 Apr 2021 – MBIE opened consultation on outstanding aspects of the upcoming regime governing conduct in the financial sector, including consulting on regulations covering matters such as requirements for claims handling and complaints processes, prohibitions of certain types of sales incentives, and the treatment of intermediaries, with submissions closing on 4 June 2021. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/consultation-opens-on-additional-measures-in-new-financial-conduct-regime/

21 Apr 2021 – Parliamentary website updated for the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, showing submission closing date as 28 May 2021 and report date as 16 Aug 2021. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109905/financial-sector-climate-related-disclosures-and-other

21 Apr 2021 – IRD advised that it has identified several errors in the recent special report on the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020–21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Act 2021, and is currently in the process of updating it. An updated version will be published by early next week. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-04-21-updates-required-special-report


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

16 Mar 2021 – Commerce Amendment Bill underwent First Reading and referred to the Economic Development, Science and innovation Select Committee, with report back due by 16 Sept 2021. The Financial Markets Infrastructure Bill completed Second Reading. Relevant weblinks are https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_108304/commerce-amendment-bill and https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_93550/financial-market-infrastructures-bill

17 Mar 2021 – Incorporated Societies Bill introduced into Parliament. The purpose of the bill is to put in place a modern framework of basic legal, governance, and accountability obligations for incorporated societies and those who run them. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109429/incorporated-societies-bill

16 Mar 2021 - The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its private health insurance risk equalisation statistics publication for the 2019/20 financial year. https://www.apra.gov.au/private-health-insurance-risk-equalisation-statistics


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

16 Mar 2021 - The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) Board announced that Chief Executive Rob Everett had resigned and would leave the organisation towards the end of the year. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-board-announces-chief-executive-will-leave-at-end-of-2021/

15 Mar 2021 - The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released a response letter for insurers on proposals to collect cyber insurance and management liability data in the National Claims and Policies Database. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-draft-reporting-standards-for-data-collection-national-claims

11 Mar 2021 - The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Class Exemptions) Amendment Notice 2021 (‘Amendment Notice’) was released on 11 March 2021 and is now in force. It amends Part 5 (Reporting Entities whose customers are licensed managing intermediaries) and Part 8 (Financial advisers arranging for relevant services to be provided for retirement schemes) of the Schedule to the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Class Exemptions) Notice 2018 (‘Principal Notice’), with the changes largely arising under the new financial advice regime.


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

4 Mar 2021 - Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (No 3), introduced on 14 May 2020, reported back to Parliament. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_97807/overseas-investment-amendment-bill-no-3

4 Mar 2021 – APRA released separately the statistics for December 2020 for life insurance and general insurance. Weblinks are https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-life-insurance-statistics-for-december-2020 and https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-general-insurance-statistics-for-december-2020

4 Mar 2021 – Financial Advisers Disciplinary Committee issued its penalty determination on the case decision released in Jan 2021 regarding Code Standard breaches. The FADC imposed the penalty that the Respondent is censured for the Code breaches together with permanent suppression of identity. https://fadc.govt.nz/decisions/

4 Mar 2021 – Commission for Financial Capability announced that it had launched achievement standard resources through its Sorted in Schools programme. The resources are designed to be taught by teachers as part of day to day classes in Statistics and Economics for students studying toward NCEA Levels 1 and 2. https://cffc.govt.nz/news-and-media/news/money-lessons-offer-ncea-excellence-grades/

5 Mar 2021 – FMA issued a public warning to the adviser for KiwiSaver advice given generally to switch funds in the wake of COVID-19 and market volatility in March 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-warns-financial-adviser-kiwisaver-covid19/

5 Mar 2021 – IRD advised that the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020–21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill, introduced on 4 June 2020, was reported back to Parliament on 4 March 2021. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_98047/taxation-annual-rates-for-2020-21-feasibility-expenditure