RBNZ publish guide for building cyber resilience, and more daily news

RBNZ recently published a guide on how to build cyber resilience. Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand noted that the cyber space has been identified as a significant source of operational risk for financial institutions. The guideline focuses on what RBNZ’s expectations are and uses material from national and international cybersecurity standards. Bascand announced that a draft guideline has been published and is open for feedback. 

“The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is today releasing draft guidance on what regulated entities should consider when managing cyber resilience.

The cyber world has long been recognised as a significant source of operational risk for financial institutions, Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says.

The draft guidance, which is open for feedback, outlines the Reserve Bank’s expectations around cyber resilience, and draws heavily from leading international and national cybersecurity standards and guidelines.

“As cyber risk continues to rise, there is growing awareness that cyber incidents could present risks to the stability of the entire financial system. Improving cyber resilience has become a key priority for prudential regulators around the world,” Mr Bascand says.”

RBNZ is set to run the consultation until 29 January 2021 as they believe the management of cyber resilience is a shared responsibility. The guideline works around related publications from other official agencies. After the 14 weeklong consultation period, RBNZ will release the final guideline.

“We recognise that managing cyber resilience is a shared responsibility and that it is important to collaborate and coordinate with all relevant stakeholders. The proposed guidance and our information collection plans have been designed to complement the work of other government agencies with a direct interest in promoting cyber resilience in the financial sector – including the Financial Markets Authority, the National Cyber Security Centre and the Computer Emergency Response Team.”

The consultation is open for 14 weeks and closes on 29 January 2021. The Reserve Bank will release the final guidance early next year.” Click here to read more

In other news

Fluidity is more important than work-life balance – manager

Commerce Commission looks into issues of Aon-WTW merger


Research on lack of women in financial advice

Goodreturns has a piece covering research on why there are fewer women in financial advice. They quote the percentage of female advisers as 23.5% applies only to investment advice, and can be reasonably easily verified with reference to FMA information on AFAs. I am pleased to say the in the area of insurance advice, female participation is quite a bit higher - although no easy reference source exists, the audience at Quotemonster workshops is indicative. I was struck by this comment, however: 

"The study said the industry could help by normalising part-time work opportunities"

But many of the changes to the financial advice regime will make part-time work harder. In Australia advisers are telling me that the requirements of FASEA (much tougher than in New Zealand, and probably needlessly so) will make exactly the kind of part-time work the authors envisage impossible. 

 


The missing customers, the missing new business

This article from The Economist discusses how companies from Silicon Valley are creating products that are much more suited to males than females, alienating half of their potential customers. This is in some surprisingly obvious ways: most mobile phones and gaming devices are simply too big for most women's hands to use with as much comfort and utility as the average man using the same device. This is my my wife persists with her ancient, but correctly sized, iphone SE, rather than choosing to upgrade. It's a huge lost opportunity. If you read the article you can easily feel smug - as I did - about the silly mistakes these silicon valley geniuses make - like trusting the design decisions to teams that are 75% male. But there's another part of me worrying - what are we missing? Here are two examples: 

We're missing out on women. Looking at several hundred thousand quotes, 43% of quotes arose from couples and 57.4% arose from quotes for single adults. Men were quoted for insurance on their own at a rate twice that of women. Increasing the engagement of women quoting alone to that of men would be a 20% boost to quotes for the industry. In the advised channel we are not quoting single women as often, and when we look at cover levels for women, they remain lower than for men. Remember that with declining marriage rates women tend to remain single, or if in relationship, financially independent, for longer, which expands the impact of this industry weakness. There is nothing like this skew in direct insurance.

In Auckland we're also missing out on adequately serving the multi-adult household, which now accounts for 30% of all households in this region, by featuring mainly traditional families. We're missing out on women, big time. The  We're missing out on genuine connection to client needs - by talking about insurance all the time, and not about health, risk, or the great purpose of financial risk transfer. Where there are people with a financial dependence on each other, there is usually a need for insurance. Marketing to that segment with a new solution to the challenge of making sure the benefit goes for its intended purpose would help. 

There are more, and they require detailed evaluation. The solutions to accessing ignored segments is not straightforward. All change is difficult. It's an example, however, that the industry needs to change to reflect changes in society around us. While it might be embarrassing to be talking about selling more to single women in 2019, it would be even more embarrassing to be still talking about it as a problem in 2029. While the housing crisis has been in the news almost every week for the last five years, we do not appear to have recognised one of the most obvious consequences: more shared housing. 

More details will be in the Quarterly Life and Health Sector report. 

 


AIA receive the White Camellia Supreme Award

Congratulations to AIA who walked away from the White Camellia Awards with the Supreme Award, as well as three other awards. 

The awards celebrate organisational commitment to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), a UN Women and UN Global Compact initiative which encourages gender equality in the workplace.  The Supreme Award is awarded to organisations that demonstrate exceptional commitment to gender equality in the workplace and working with the community to empower women.

Sharron Botica Chief Customer Officer and Grace MacKinnon Organisation Development Consultant  from AIA collected the four White Camellia Awards


Chatswood Consulting Diversity Statement

As required by our agreement with an important customer, Chatswood has reviewed its commitment to diversity, and publishes this statement of policies intended to support our goal of a diverse and inclusive workplace. We take this seriously, as well as being what a decent business does, we also believe that it delivers an important breadth of perspective. If we can overcome unconscious bias in our workplace, it makes us better industry analysts - overcoming all sorts of cognitive biases is a skill we can practice and grow better at in a number of ways. We see to encourage participation in our business of people from different backgrounds, as well as make it possible to raise issues of barriers or behaviour that may stand in the way of that. A brief overview of our report is below:

  • Gender-based measures: out of seven staff and contractors 4 are female, 3 male. The ratio is 1:1 at director level
  • Treatment of migrants/ethnicities: four of us were born in another country – roughly consistent with the average for Auckland, where it is just under 50%
  • Disabilities: none of our staff are subject to significant physical disabilities. Our current office may not meet our future accessibility requirements
  • Sexuality: anonymous surveys and access to all directors and management provide reasonable ability to raise any concerns about discrimination or behaviour

 


Insurance and home loans - the future of financial planning

In some respects investments advisers are streets ahead of insurance and home loans advisers. Older, wealthier, and with wealthier clients they also tend to have more fee-based businesses, and work from longer-established evidence-based models for advice. But insurance and home loans advice has plenty to celebrate, and that was reflected in the changing membership of Financial Advice New Zealand, highlighted by Chairperson Sue Brown in her recent speech. The younger adviser and more diverse membership Brown was happy to talk about comes mainly from the mortgage and insurance membership. In this advice sector barriers to entry are lower, and commissions enable the cash-strapped younger people, or return-to-work mothers looking for a career to fit around children, to become advisers. That diversity is important because if we want advice to be accessible to everyone. Some of that diversity will flow through into new ways of thinking and new offers and services to clients. That cohort of younger advisers will in turn develop the skills necessary to offer full financial planning and investment advice services. 


AIA's Sharron Botica takes out Insurance Professional of the Year award

AIA release:

AIA CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER RECOGNISED AS INSURANCE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

AUCKLAND, 31 July 2019

AIA were among the big winners for the first ever Women in Insurance Awards at the Hilton in Auckland last night.

AIA’s Chief Customer Officer, Sharron Botica was awarded the Insurance Professional of the Year award while Maddie Sherlock, AIA’s Technical Underwriting Manager, was recognised as a finalist for the Rising Star – Insurer award.

Nick Stanhope, AIA New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer who was at the event said, “AIA has always been committed to a gender diverse and balanced workplace that supports and empowers women to succeed, and so it is great for Sharron and Maddie to be recognised.”

“We are very proud of what Sharron has achieved and to see our staff recognised for their hard work.”

Angela Busby, AIA New Zealand’s Chief Strategy Officer who presented an award at the event, said that, “It is a testament to AIA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion that 60% of our executives are women. Events like the Women in Insurance Awards, where we have the opportunity to support our female staff and demonstrate our leadership in this space, are crucial to the industry as a whole.”

Theresa Gattung CNZM, who chairs the board and was at the event to see Sharron take out the award said, “I am delighted for the team.  As a business we have made conscious efforts to embrace gender equality as well as diversity, health and wellbeing.  This award is well deserved.”  The awards were presented at the conclusion of the annual Women in Insurance Summit in Auckland on the 30th July. The awards were set up to champion successful women in the insurance industry. This was the first year the awards were introduced to the summit.

Sharron Botica (002)


Life insurers view on HIV/Aids challenged

Jason Myers, NZ AIDS Foundation CEO, has stated that AA’s life policy clause excluding HIV/Aids related deaths is discriminatory.  He continues by stating that it is an outdated view.  Mark Savage, AA Life General Manager, has said that AA needs to exclude conditions or lifestyle factors that the underwriting process will not give them enough information about. But Myers argues AA's rationale doesn't make sense, as heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and stroke are among the diseases most likely to kill New Zealanders, but they are not excluded. Click here to read more. 

I suspect that this is really an historical issue. When HIV/AIDS was really an unknown, it was excluded because no one really knew how bad the disease could become, across the population as a whole. New Zealand is fortunate that measures to contain the spread have been successful, and measures to prevent transmission have kept the number of cases low, and the impact on people with the disease manageable. It also means that the impact on death rates is negligible. That means that some insurers - such as AIA, for example - feel comfortable enough to include cover for HIV even in their medical insurance contracts. 


Partners Life nominated for this year’s Diversity Works New Zealand Awards

Paul O'Brien from Partners Life has been announced as a finalist in the Walk the Talk category at this years Diversity Works NZ Awards for exemplifying excellence in promoting and managing a diverse workforce. The awards are being held at the Cordis in Auckland on the 28th of August. Click here to read more.