Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

9 June 2021 – Privacy News from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner referred to a consultation released by the Department of Internal Affairs on 19 April 2021, with submissions closing on 11 June 2021, on a proposed Death Approved Information Sharing Agreement designed to make things a little easier for families when someone dies. This sets out the legal basis that makes it simpler to safely share personal death information that the Department of Internal Affairs holds on behalf of New Zealanders. This development would be very helpful for insurers who wish to monitor for the death of a life assured. That could help meet conduct obligations associated with offering a product that operates around the end of a life. Also, looking ahead, it could even enable automating the claim approval process. More information:  https://www.dia.govt.nz/proposal-to-share-death-information

9 June 2021 - The Commission for Financial Capability released a report and recommendations following public consultation on a discussion paper studying the effects of the complex legal framework governing the retirement village sector. https://cffc.govt.nz/news-and-media/news/urgent-review-recommended-for-retirement-village-legal-framework/


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

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

  • 6 Apr 2021 – RBNZ (Geoff Bascand, Deputy Governor and Toby Fiennes, Head of Financial System Policy Analysis)
  • 12 Apr 2021 – Munich Re (Dr Achim Kassow, Member of the Board of Management, Dr Tobias Farny, CE, Asia Pacific & China, John Shewan, Chairman Australasia; Ralph Ronnenberg, MD Australasia)
  • 13 Apr 2021 – AON (Dominic Christian, Global Chairman Reinsurance Solutions & Robert De Souza, CE, AON)
  • 14 Apr 2021 - Insurance Brokers Association of NZ (Melanie Gorham, CEO & Barry Hellberg)
  • 15 Apr 2021 – Financial Services Council Event (Speaking)
  • 15 Apr 2021 – Southern Response (Alister James , Chair)
  • 15 Apr 2021 – Meeting with Financial Services CEs (Lyn McMorran , Financial Services Federation; Joe Bishop, Police and Families Credit Union; Roger Beaumont, NZ Bankers Association; Dr Suzy Morrissey, Commission for Financial Capability; Jane Wrightson, Retirement Commissioner; Liesl Knox, Avanti Finance; Sue Foley, Westpac; Steven Bendall, ASB; Antonia Watson, ANZ)
  • 15 Apr 2021 – Launch of the National Strategy for Financial Capability (Speaking)
  • 15 Apr 2021 – Mindful Money (Barry Coates, Founder & CEO)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-05/Hon%20Dr%20David%20Clark%20Proactive%20Diary%20Release%20April%202021.pdf


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector - UPDATED

15 Apr 2021 – Privacy Commissioner’s Office released updated guidance on privacy impact assessments, seen as an essential part of many projects and proposals, and able to be used to identify potential risks. https://www.privacy.org.nz/publications/guidance-resources/privacy-impact-assessment/

15 Apr 2021 – Commission for Financial Capability announced the release of the National Strategy for Financial Capability 2021-2024 and the formation of an umbrella group to boost money know-how. https://cffc.govt.nz/news-and-media/news/new-umbrella-group-to-boost-money-know-how/

14 Apr 2021 – Following on from recent consultation, FMA released its guidance on managed fund fees and value for money. This was released together with a submissions report and a republished version of the KiwiSaver performance fees guidance. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/kiwisaver-value-for-money/

Most of us have absolutely no issue with the FMA providing guidance on KiwiSaver fees, as Clause 2 of Schedule 1 of the KiwiSaver Act 2006 states that KiwiSaver fees must not be unreasonable. However, the extension of guidance to all Managed Investment Schemes, perhaps even in the future to other financial products under its watch too, possibly under the general conduct provisions, may cause some providers - and even insurers - to wonder just how extensive the FMA role in future pricing may become. Balancing the benefit of a public guardian of the concept of value for money against the benefit of a functioning marketplace and the diversity of offering and innovation that it can offer is therefore certain to be a continuing conversation. It will be interesting to see how industry responds to this prospect. 

14 Apr 2021 – The latest FMA update advised that the FMA had updated the content on its website covering insider trading. https://www.fma.govt.nz/investors/resources/insider-trading/

14 April 2021 – The latest FMA update also reminded Financial Advisers to check their Financial Advice Provider has linked to them on the Financial Service Providers Register, noting that Financial Advisers not shown as linked to a licensed Financial Advice Provider, or authorised body, by 16 June this year may face deregistration if they offer no other services.


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

5 Apr 2021 – Following the 15 March 2021 transitional licensing close off date, InvestmentNews NZ issued a media report updating the numbers of transitionally licensed Financial Advice Providers (1,817), Authorised Bodies (1,200) , Financial Advisers (10,750) and Nominated Representatives (12,246). David Chaplin also tells us that search functionality for the FSPR is substantially more limited than the old register. https://investmentnews.co.nz/investment-news/fslaa-by-the-numbers-3000-entities-23000-individuals-1-register/

5 Apr 2021 – InvestmentNews NZ reported on Retirement Commissioner (RC), Jane Wrightson’s, presentation to a parliamentary committee last month, in which the Commissioner stated that the CFFC would unveil a new approach on April 16, targeting financial resilience, better stakeholder co-operation and access to ‘independent’ guidance. https://investmentnews.co.nz/investment-news/covid-prompts-retirement-commission-to-sort-strategy/


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 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


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

21 Oct 2020 – Department of Internal Affairs published a new webinar on the AML/CFT enhanced customer due diligence obligation on its website. https://www.dia.govt.nz/Enhanced-Customer-Due-Diligence-Webinar

22 Oct 2020 - Simone Robbers, RBNZ Assistant Governor & General Manager of Governance, Strategy and Corporate Relations, delivered a speech to the 16th Annual Financial Markets Law Conference titled “Working together to support economic recovery, strengthen resilience, and develop culture”. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/10/working-together-to-support-economic-recovery-strengthen-resilience-and-develop-culture

22 Oct 2020 – FMA released a consultation titled “Recognition of Australian adviser qualifications”, relevant to the upcoming financial advice provider regime, with submissions closing on 20 Nov 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/compliance/consultation/consultation-recognition-of-australian-adviser-qualifications/

20 Oct 2020 – MBIE published information on its website an update on COVID-19-related business relief measures, noting that some have been extended, while others are no longer available or are soon to expire. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/update-on-covid-19-related-business-relief-measures/

21 Oct 2020 - The first statement defining the purpose of New Zealand’s retirement income system was released by the Retirement Commissioner. https://cffc.govt.nz/news-and-media/news/purpose-of-nz-retirement-income-system-defined/


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

16 Sept 2020 – Treasury published the pre-election economic and fiscal update. https://www.treasury.govt.nz/news-and-events/news/2020-pre-election-economic-and-fiscal-update-published-today

16 Sept 2020 - MBIE released a statement that the Government planned responding to the retirement income policy review this year, but is taking further time to consider New Zealand’s retirement settings in light of the impacts of COVID-19. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/update-on-government-response-to-retirement-income-policy-review/

17 Sept 2020 – Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Kris Faafoi, released a statement that the  Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/economic-recovery-guides-govt-response-retirement-income-policy-review


Deeper look into AIA Vitality Business and Community Grant, and more daily news

AIA announced their AIA Vitality Business and Community Grant earlier this month. The grant is set up to support adviser initiative to encourage health and wellbeing.  Advisers are able to find inspiration by referring to a national think tank that New Zealanders will be adding to. “To help inspire you with ideas to help create a healthier community, AIA will be asking New Zealanders to submit their ideas from 29 June.  This will create a national think tank which you can then use to inform your own ideas or to adapt for your submissions.”

There is a process for selecting successful applications, but those most likely to succeed will be increasing engagement within their communities through activities including:

  • “Hosting events to create awareness of health challenges in your community.
  • Investing in digital marketing and promotion of healthy living through podcasts or a video series.
  • Developing marketing activities that will drive the awareness of health and wellbeing in your community.
  • Delivering educational opportunities to increase the importance of health and wellbeing for New Zealanders.”

More details available here

In other news:

CFFC: The Commission for Financial Capability launched new resources to help students gain NCEA credits

RBNZ: The Reserve Bank resuming review of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010

AIA: how MIP works adviser resource