Legal and Regulatory Update for the Life and Health Insurance Sector

6 Oct 2021 – Law Commission launched a review of the law relating to adult decision-making capacity and published the Terms of Reference that will guide the review. This may have a bearing on how you identify and help clients that may be vulnerable in some way, some disabled clients, as well as those of you that may work with very elderly clients. There will be a public consultation process in 2022 and an intent to report to the Minister of Justice by the end of 2023. https://www.lawcom.govt.nz/media-release/law-commission-review-law-relating-adult-decision-making-capacity

6 Oct 2021 – MBIE announced that Government is seeking feedback on creating a Digital Strategy for New Zealand, with a closing date for feedback of 10 Nov 2021.

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/government-seeking-public-feedback-on-digital-strategy/

https://www.digital.govt.nz/digital-government/strategy/towards-a-digital-strategy-for-aotearoa/have-your-say/

7 Oct 2021 – The Office of the Privacy Commissioner released a paper setting out the position of the Office on how the Privacy Act regulates bio-metrics. https://privacy.org.nz/publications/guidance-resources/biometrics-and-privacy/


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

18 Aug 2021 – The Commerce Commission, as the entity responsible for enforcing the Fair Trading Act, posted information on the recently enacted changes and proposed guidance. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2021/changes-to-the-fair-trading-act

18 Aug 2021 – The FMA advised that it anticipates that what will be considered essential financial services will be narrower than in previous Alert Level 4 scenarios and further information will be provided as soon as possible. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/covid-19/government-announcement-workplaces-that-can-open-at-level-4/

18 Aug 2021 – Financial Services Council posted the results of new research titled ‘Money and You: Generation Rent’ under the heading “Is home ownership an unattainable dream for most young Kiwis?” https://www.fsc.org.nz/bulletin_display/x_blog_code/2154.html


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

2 June 2021 – Commerce Commission finalised due diligence guidance for consumer credit providers. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2021/commission-finalises-due-diligence-guidance-for-consumer-credit-providers

2 June 2021 – RBNZ published a speech delivered by RBNZ Head of Financial Markets, Vanessa Rayner, titled “A Strategic View of Te Pūtea Matua’s Balance Sheet”. Ms Rayner noted that the size and composition of the Reserve Bank’s balance sheet had changed significantly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/06/a-strategic-view-of-te-putea-matuas-balance-sheet


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

9 Apr 2021 - The Commerce Commission has issued its revised cartel leniency and immunity policy and revised template leniency agreement. The cartel leniency and immunity policy has been updated to reflect changes to the Commission’s cartel leniency policy resulting from the introduction of the new Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Act 2019 which came into effect on 8 April. Cartel conduct can now be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2021/commission-issues-updated-cartel-leniency-policy

9 Apr 2021 – Submission closing date on the Incorporated Societies Bill set as 28 May 2021. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109429/incorporated-societies-bill

9 Apr 2021 – IRD advised that, following attachment of Royal Assent to the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020–21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Act 2021 on 30 March 2021, IRD released a special report on the Act. The report covers:

  • early information on land-related amendments (including the extension to the bright-line test)
  • feasibility expenditure
  • purchase price allocation
  • unclaimed money, and
  • other changes.

Web link at https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/publications/2021/2021-sr-arferm-act


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

31 Mar 2021 – RBNZ advised via -email that it had published updated versions of the ‘working copies’ of the bank disclosure Orders in Council (OICs) that it maintains on its website.

31 Mar 2021 - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon David Clark, February 2021 diary released with the following potential financial services sector related meetings noted:

  • 10 Feb 2021 – Speaking at the Financial Services Council (FSC) Get In Shape Summit
  • 12 Feb 2021 – Meeting with Forsyth Barr (Ken Lister and Trish Oakley)
  • 18 Feb 2021 – Insurance Council of NZ (Craig Olsen, President, Chris Curtin, Vice President, Tim Grafton, CE, and Board Members)
  • 24 Feb 2021 - Meeting with Asia Pacific MasterCard (Ruth Riviere, Country Manager, Peter Chisnell, Senior Vice President Market Development for Asia Pacific MasterCard)
  • 24 Feb 2021 – Meeting with Visa International (David O’Brien, Head of Merchant Sales and Solutions NZ & South Pacific, Marty Kerr, Country Manager, NZ & South Pacific for Visa International)
  • 25 Feb 2021 – KiwiSaver Announcement (Various attendees not listed)
  • 25 Feb 2021 – Meeting with Financial Services Council (Rob Flanagan, Chair, Richard Klipin, CEO, Thomas Pryor)
  • 25 Feb 2021 – Meeting with Financial dispute resolution schemes (CEO - Financial Services Complaints Ltd, General Manager - Fairway Resolution, Banking Ombudsman, Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman, Board member of IFSO)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-03/Hon%20Dr%20David%20Clark%20Proactive%20Diary%20Release%20February%202021.pdf


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

10 Mar 2021 – Commerce Amendment Bill introduced into Parliament. The Bill amends the Commerce Act to strengthen the prohibition against misuse of market power and make other changes to improve the functioning of the Act. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_108304/commerce-amendment-bill


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

10 Mar 2021 – FMA released a consultation on potentially using its exemption power to exempt restricted schemes from certain disclosure and reporting obligations under the Financial Markets Conduct Regulations 2014. Submissions close on 21 April 2021. The FMA consultation website also noted closure with decisions of earlier consultations on the “New Financial Advice Regime Exemptions” and the “Proposed class exemption for restricted schemes from certain disclosure and reporting obligations.” https://www.fma.govt.nz/compliance/consultation/

10 Mar 2021 – Commerce Commission issued a reminder that from 1 October 2021, lenders providing consumer credit and mobile traders selling on credit must be certified by the Commerce Commission or face penalties, unless they are licensed or registered by the Financial Markets Authority or Reserve Bank of New Zealand. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2021/lenders-and-mobile-traders-must-be-certified-to-operate-from-1-october

5 Mar 2021 – Commerce Commission is seeking feedback on draft guidance for directors and senior managers of consumer credit providers and mobile traders on how to comply with the due diligence duty coming into force from 1 Oct 2021. Submissions close on Friday 19 March 2021. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2021/commission-seeks-feedback-on-due-diligence-guidance

8 Mar 2021 – Commission for Financial Capability announced the launch of a new workplace course to help women become more confident with money to mark International Women’s Day on 8 March. https://cffc.govt.nz/news-and-media/news/money-skills-for-women-offered-in-new-workplace-course/

7 Mar 2021 – Investment News NZ reported that the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) advised that, as at last Friday, it had approved some 1,636 transitional licenses and 943 authorised bodies, up from 1,467 and 774 on February 9. https://investmentnews.co.nz/investment-news/licensing-splurge-adds-400-in-last-dash-for-fslaa/

8 Mar 2021 – Good Returns, reported on the penalty outcome of the Financial Advisers Disciplinary Committee for the adviser who failed to keep proper records, while also noting the FADC statement that, “There is no suggestion that the Respondent has improperly benefited at the expense of her clients, or that any client has been disadvantaged”. Good Returns then reported that the adviser has stated that she has now retired and that the advice practice will be wound up by 31 March 2021. https://www.goodreturns.co.nz/article/976518248/adviser-learns-her-fate-from-fadc.html


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

23 Dec 2020 - The Commerce Commission released its updated Authorisation Guidelines that explain its approach to assessing applications to authorise agreements or mergers in the public interest. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2020/commission-publishes-revised-authorisation-guidelines-and-application-forms

23 Dec 2020 – The Open Government Partnership released Progress reports for Third National Action Plan and Meeting Papers. https://ogp.org.nz/latest-news/progress-reports-for-third-national-action-plan-and-meeting-papers/

22 Dec 2020 – Courtesy of Dentons Kensington Swan, note the release of the following regulations and other information during this month, in addition to those items included in the FMA update or the MBIE release on 17 Dec 2020:

  • Financial Markets Conduct (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2020
  • Financial Markets (Derivatives Margin and Benchmarking) Reform Amendment Act Commencement Order 2020
  • Financial Markets Conduct (Licensing of Administrators of Financial Benchmarks) Amendment Regulations 2020
  • Financial Markets Conduct (Overseas Providers of Custodial Services – Assurance Engagement) Exemption Notice 2020
  • Financial Markets Conduct (Australian Licensees) Exemption Notice 2020

22 Dec 2020 – Courtesy of Dentons Kensington Swan, note the submission opportunities closing at the start of 2021 as follows:

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment:

  • Updating the Responsible Lending Code – submissions close 15 January 2021, 5pm.
  • Regulating to reduce merchant service fees – submissions close 19 February 2021, 10am.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand:

  • Review of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 (scope of the Act and treatment of overseas insurers) – submissions close 18 February 2021.
  • Review of the Insurance Solvency Standards – submissions close 18 February 2021.
  • Reinstating Loan-to-Value Ratio restrictions – submissions close 22 January 2021.

Financial Markets Authority:

  • Proposed guidance on advertising offers – submissions close 16 February 2021.

Parliament:

  • Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bill – submissions close 4 February 2021.

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

21 Dec 2020 – Privacy Commissioner Annual Report released. https://www.privacy.org.nz/publications/corporate-reports/annual-report-of-the-privacy-commissioner-2020/

21 Dec 2020 – Commerce Commission published a Statement of Issues relating to an application from Aon plc seeking clearance to acquire Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company as part of a global transaction. Submissions close on 26 January 2021, with cross-submissions due no later than close of business 2 February 2021. The Commission is currently scheduled to make a decision on the application by 26 February 2021. https://comcom.govt.nz/case-register/case-register-entries/aon-plc-and-willis-towers-watson-public-limited-company

21 Dec 2020 – FMA released CPA Australia and NZICA accredited body reports, containing the findings of the FMA’s monitoring assessments of CPA Australia and NZICA for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/cpa-australia-nzica-accredited-body-reports/


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

17 Dec 2020 – Law Commission newsletter released, including information on the following upcoming or ongoing projects:

18 Dec 2020 – Government announced expansion of the small business loan support package related to Covid-19. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/small-business-support-expanded

18 Dec 2020 – Commerce Commission released a consultation on a draft cartel leniency and immunity policy, resulting from the introduction of the new criminal cartel offence coming into effect in April 2021. A seminar will be held on Wednesday 27 January 2021 at the Commission’s Auckland office to talk through the key changes to the policy and to answer any questions submitters may have. Submissions close on 10 Feb 2021. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2020/commission-seeks-feedback-on-draft-cartel-leniency-and-immunity-policy