Development of Clearhead Te Reo platform

nib has announced that a Te Reo Māori platform has been launched in partnership with Clearhead and nib foundation. The Clearhead website and chatbot have been translated into Te Reo Māori to offer Maori communities the opportunity to better use the service as it has been found that Māori are twice as likely to experience mental health issues than people who aren’t Māori. This launch makes the service the first mental health service to support an indigenous language.

“Clearhead, a Kiwi digital mental health company has today launched its translated te reo Māori website and chatbot offering in partnership with nib New Zealand (nib) and nib foundation, designed to help reduce the barriers Māori communities often face when accessing mental health services.

Māori populations are consistently over-represented in New Zealand’s suicide statistics, are twice as likely to experience mental health issues compared to non-Māori, and 1.5 times as likely to report experiencing anxiety or depression.

As a global first for any digital mental health service to support an indigenous language, the translation marks an important step towards providing culturally inclusive resources to support the health and wellbeing of one of our most vulnerable communities.” 

Dr Angela Lim, Clearhead CEO, has said that mental health resources available don’t accommodate how Maori wish to access resources and support. Lim continues by saying that digital solutions that offer anonymity, flexibility, and affordability must be offered to improve outcomes for Māori. The launch of the new platform during Māori Language Week is intended to highlight the importance role culture plays on mental wellbeing.

“Clearhead CEO, Dr Angela Lim says that while Māori are disproportionately represented in the public mental health system, the resources available do not necessarily take a user-centric approach of how Maori would prefer to access these resources and support.

“Māori make up 40 percent of patients in the public mental health system, yet only around three percent of clinical staff in the sector identify as Māori, and an even smaller number are fluent in te reo Māori. To some, te reo is a fundamental part of their identity – and yet we face significant challenges in delivering culturally appropriate services to this community,” Dr.Lim said.

“In order to improve mental health outcomes for Māori, utilising digital solutions where we can provide anonymity, flexibility, affordability and overcome geographical barriers can be a viable solution. We hope our platform can assist in improving reach and engagement for Māori seeking mental health support and provide that safe place where they feel heard,” Dr Lim added.

With the new platform launching during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week) Clearhead’s aim is to highlight the importance culture has on one’s mental health and wellbeing. Research from the Mental Health Foundation has demonstrated that a strong cultural identity – including a connection with Māoritanga and te reo within Māori communities – is linked to positive wellbeing and a reduced risk of suicide.” Click here to find out more

In other news

nib: leaders and employees took part in a 10-week Māori language training program designed by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei

FMA: FMA details Covid-19 response

FSC: "Alarmingly excellent" results for Kiwis who seek financial advice


FSC announce plans for Generations 2020

The FSC has announced that Generations 2020 will go ahead virtually. The conference will be held on October 13-15 2020.  Alongside existing speakers, new guests are set to be announced. 

“We are excited to announce that the FSC's 2020 Digital Conference - Generations will go ahead between 13 and 15 October, during the lead up week to the election. It has been a difficult decision and Covid 19 has thrown us all many curve balls, however we are delighted to bring you one of the industry's leading events whilst prioritising the health and safety of our community.

 

The programme remains exceptional, with a showcase main platform program with many of New Zealand’s leading lights, political leaders, regulators and inspiring individuals. We will also feature all of our breakout programs and breakfast sessions which will delve deep into key issues right across the sector.

 

We are also working on a number of special guests and new initiatives to engage delegates, connect our community and showcase the capability in the market place.”

All ticket holders partners, and sponsors are being welcomed to join the virtual conference. More information on tickets will be announced next week.

“We are delighted to welcome all existing ticket holders, partners and sponsors to the digital conference. More details on how your tickets will transfer over will be announced next week. For those who have not registered yet, stay tuned for registration details.”


Privacy Act 2020 insights, and more daily news

In a recent Financial Advice NZ webinar, Campbell Featherstone and David Ireland from Dentons Kensington Swan spoke about the implications of the impending changes to the Privacy Act for advisers. The key take away message was that ensuring compliance is also about an adviser’s reputation, their client’s safety and confidence as well as public confidence.

“As part of our webinar series Bring in the Experts, Campbell Featherstone and David Ireland from law firm Dentons Kensington Swan talked about what this piece of legislation means for financial advisers, and the practical steps you can take to ensure your privacy settings are fit for purpose for the new regime.

The overarching message is that being compliant with the new Privacy Act isn’t just about legislation; it’s about your reputation, your clients’ safety and confidence, and public trust in financial services. Let’s dive in.”

Privacy Act 2020 does a number of things including replacing the existing Privacy Act while maintaining the overall principles. Key components of the Act include data minimisation, access expansion, and data breach reporting.

“As you’ll know, the Privacy Act 2020 repeals and replaces the 1993 Act. While the overall principles are mostly unchanged, the ‘refreshed’ version of the law acknowledges that a lot has happened in the past 27 years in the way businesses interact with clients and collect information.

Under the new principle of ‘data minimisation’, all companies – including financial advice businesses – must only collect and keep personal information that is needed (e.g. data related to the advice you provide), for only as long as it is needed (e.g. at least seven years as per FAP licence standard conditions).

The Privacy Act 2020 gives individuals in New Zealand a right to access the personal information you hold about them (with a few exceptions). Importantly, unlike current legislation, the Privacy Commissioner will now have the authority to compel the release of this information (upon the individual’s request) by issuing an ‘access direction’. Failing to comply without a reasonable excuse can result in a fine of up to $10,000. 

Data breach reporting shifts from voluntary to mandatory. It’s important to note that this obligation only concerns ‘notifiable’ privacy breaches. What’s notifiable? Generally speaking, if it’s reasonable to believe that the breach would cause serious harm to an individual, then the breach is ‘notifiable’.

The threshold may not always be clear, so the experts at Dentons Kensington Swan recommended a cautious approach – when in doubt, notify the Privacy Commissioner as soon as possible.” Click here to read more

In other news

FMA: FMA offers investors insight into bonds

Asteron Life: AsteronConnect is being updated to cover options available for all occupations according to the current Underwriting guide

FSC: the FSC has published Code of Conduct guidance, educational materials resource pack, and a facilitator guide

FSC: Risk Management and Implementing a Risk Framework webinar

FSC: Privacy - Reviewing your obligations under the Privacy Act webinar


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

1 Sept 2020 – The FMA advised licenced Managers, and Supervisors, of Managed Investment Schemes (MIS) that, as result of the enactment of the Taxation (KiwiSaver, Student Loans, and Remedial Matters) Act in January 2020, overpaid PIE tax can now be refunded in some circumstances, and the FMA is encouraging MIS managers to consider updating their PDS with relevant wording before the end of January 2021.

1 Sept 2020 – Treasury advised that the Government has extended the Emergency Notification Regime in the Overseas Investment Act for another 90 days until 28 Nov 2020 to manage investment risks arising through Covid-19. https://treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-statement/ministers-retain-temporary-overseas-investment-screening-rules

1 Sept 2020 – The Ombudsman quarterly Review Winter 2020 was released. https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/resources/ombudsman-quarterly-review-winter-2020

2 Sept 2020 – FMA released an investor guide to bonds. https://www.fma.govt.nz/investors/resources/bonds-guide/

2 Sept 2020 – Following the earlier decision by Financial Services Council to postpone its Sept 2020 conference, Good Returns today reported that Financial Advice NZ is a recipient of funding via MBIE’s domestic event fund for its planned conference, with a decision due this weekend whether to go ahead with an in-person Auckland event. https://www.goodreturns.co.nz/article/976517427/financial-advice-nz-conference-gets-funding.html


Client outraged after life insurance premium doubles, and more daily news

A couple that took out a life insurance policy with AMP over 30 years ago is outraged that their monthly premiums have doubled from $165.90 to $296.50. They were informed of the changes in a notification letter that stated that their policy would be cancelled as a result of a missed payment.

“An elderly Havelock North couple feel "scammed" after their life insurance premiums are set to almost double, despite signing a contract for life more than 30 years ago.

Hilton and Trish Kyle took out a life insurance policy with AMP in November 1988, with a monthly payment of $165.90.

But Hilton, 69, said they received a letter stating failure to pay a missed payment would see their policy cancelled.

The letter also stated that their premiums will increase to $296.50 per month.”

The couple had set up an automatic payment system, and so when receiving the letter, the couple voiced their disapproval. AMP Life’s investigation found that there was an error in the automated mail system.

“"They are taking advantage of us. It makes us feel terrible," he said.

"We've had an automated payment set up with ANZ for the 32 years.

"We were gobsmacked to be treated like this from AMP. These buggers need to be exposed."

An AMP Life spokeswoman apologies for any distress the letter may have caused the Kyle's and said an automated mail system caused the issue.

"We have investigated this issue and it appears to be a mistake driven from an automated letter," she said.”

Regardless of the investigation findings, the couple have until 5 September 2020 to pay to stop the policy cancellation.

“The couple, who have until September 5 to pay their outstanding premium charge before policy cancellation, say they would stay with AMP if the premiums were reverted back to their original monthly totals.”  Click here to read more

In other news

Hybrid model helps online firm fill gap in KiwiSaver

Nib: Episode 4 of the nib to hold webinar series focusing on intelligent underwriting

FSC: Professional Advice Knowledge Hub now available to view information on FSLAA regulation changes, webinars and research and other resources

Financial Advice: Bring in the Experts: Rhiannon McKinnon to discuss the "State of the Investor Nation" report


FSC looking for industry insights for new study, and more daily news

The FSC is seeking participants in a survey that relates to the three-part study Money & You. The survey is working to gather data on the views of those in the professional advice industry on the challenges faced within the industry and how New Zealanders can be better served. The survey is designed to take 12 -15 minutes to complete. The results will be published later in the year. The first part of the study was focused on the feelings and knowledge of money of New Zealanders and the second component of the study worked to understand the relationship New Zealanders have with money.

Click here to participate in the survey

AMP: AMP management overhaul keeps its risks “on the downside”

Kiwibank: Kiwibank claims negative OCR is unnecessary

Fidelity Life: new September Sharecare challenge is to achieve a minimum of 20 Green Days for a chance to win a subscription for a ‘Delight Gift Box’ from I AM Co

Fidelity Life: new September Sharecare challenge to track your sleep for at least two weeks to go into the draw to win a $250 Wallace Cotton voucher


Industry reacts to disclosure regulation draft, and more daily news

The submissions on disclosure regulations have been released by MBIE. Although the response was largely positive, some concerns were raised about the disclosure requirements set to come into place on 15 March 2021.
 
AMP highlighted the risk of repetition without addressing issues currently being undervalued by consumers. To ensure value is added AMP suggested that disclosures need to be simple and brief, something AMP doesn’t believe has been achieved by the current draft.

“AMP said there was a risk that the disclosure would end up being repetitive and not address the issue of long, impenetrable disclosures not currently being valued by consumers.

 

“For benefits to be delivered to New Zealand consumers it is essential for disclosures to be simple, meaningful, very brief and unobtrusive. We do not consider that these aims would be met with the regulations as drafted.”

 

Under the new rules, advisers are required to disclose any commissions or incentives they receive that a reasonable client might think might materially influence their advice.”

While Financial Advice said that a reasonable person wouldn’t have a good grasp of identifying conflicts of interest within the industry and that the regulation could be strengthened by having higher standards in place. Financial Advice highlighted that there are many references to ‘incentives’ so including a definition and reference to ‘disincentives’ would be valuable. 

“But Financial Advice NZ said a reasonable client would not expect to have a good grasp of identifying conflicts of interest in the sector.

 

“The regulation could be strengthened by having a higher standard, such as – ‘any interest of A, P, or any other person connected with the giving of the advice that has the potential to influence the advice given by A’.

 

“There are various references to ‘incentives’. We recommend including in the regulation a definition and reference to ‘disincentives’ as well. For example, a reduction of commission rates for low volumes could escape the disclosure regime. Disincentives is an area that is often overlooked and should be drawn attention to, so FAPs and advisers cannot avoid their disclosure obligations by saying ‘this disincentive is not technically an incentive’.”” 

AIA stated that there should be further clarification on was is “practicable” for advisers to include and highlighted that this would cause significant issues for financial advice providers. Although AIA doesn’t see this as an issue as they are prepared to invest in the appropriate systems to aid advisers. 

“AIA said there should be more detail on when it was considered “practicable” for advisers to include in their disclosure the amount of fees payable by a client connected to the advice recommendation.

 

“This is a significant issue for financial advice providers. For AIA NZ, significant system investments will be required to provide estimates. While AIA NZ anticipates making this investment, we are concerned that other providers may choose not to do so, and instead elect not to provide estimates on the basis that it is not practicable to do so. This is an undesirable outcome for consumers which we consider could be avoided by better articulating the circumstances when providers may elect not to provide estimates.” Click here to read more

In other news

FSC: Generations Conference will no longer take place

Kepa: Kepa Compliance Officer’s Course was held in partnership with Rosewill Consulting  

Fidelity Life: Fidelity Life were announced as finalists in Best ICT Team Culture category in the 2020 CIO Awards

Fidelity Life: new applications are encouraged to be done through e-App

Fidelity Life: options for alteration requests are:

·       emailing signed alteration requests to admin.services@fidelitylife.co.nz

·       email from the individual policy owner’s email address

·       Mailing to Customer Care, Fidelity Life, PO Box 37-275, Parnell, Auckland 1151


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

27 Aug 2020 – MBIE issued a reminder that the “Covid-19” safe harbour for company directors from their insolvency related duties will expire on 30 Sept 2020 as planned.

28 Aug 2020 – Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Faafoi, diary for July 2020 released, with the following potential financial services sector related meetings noted:

  • 1 July 2020 - Meeting with Christians Against Poverty (Aimee Mai and Michael Ward)
  • 1 July 2020 – Meeting with Vero (Marie Hosking, Adrian Tulloch and Helen McNeil)
  • 2 July 2020 – Meeting with AIG (Toni Ferrier and Bhairav Shah)
  • 22 July 2020 – Phone call with FMA (Mark Todd)
  • 30 July 2020 - Meeting with FSC (Richard Klipin and Rob Flannagan)
  • 30 July 2020 - Meeting with ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ providers (Shaun Quincey, Neil Simons, Michael Saadat, John O'Sullivan, Julian Grennell)
  • 31 July 2020 – Meeting with Insurance Brokers Association of New Zealand (Melanie Gorham, Tony Bridgman and Barry Hellberg)

28 Aug 2020 – Good Returns reported that on 27 Aug 2020 MBIE released submissions made on the exposure draft of the disclosure regulations applicable to Regulated Financial Advice.


Partners Life update waiting period restriction on QFA, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that the waiting period restrictions for self-employed customers have been lifted from QFA. The revision to waiting periods was applied to Quote and MUM immediately after the announcement in July. The update to QFA means that advisers can quote all wait period options for their existing clients’ Income Cover, Mortgage Repayment Cover and Household Expenses Cover.

 

“In late July this year we announced a revision to our restrictions on waiting periods for self-employed customers, allowing you to quote all waiting periods on Income Cover (Indemnity Loss of Earnings), Mortgage Repayment Cover and Household Expenses Cover.

 

“The system changes were applied immediately to Quote and MUM allowing you to quote and apply for cover for new clients. The system updates to Quote for Alteration (QFA) required additional time to implement and we advised short-term workarounds to quote on waiting period changes for your existing clients.

Today we are happy to confirm that restrictions on waiting periods for self-employed customers have now been removed from QFA.

Effective immediately you can now quote all wait period options for your existing clients’ Income Cover (Indemnity Loss of Earnings), Mortgage Repayment Cover and Household Expenses Cover.

In other news:

Fidelity Life: MedScreen is currently not operating in Auckland, MedScreen paramedical visits are still happening in other regions

Fidelity Life: it is recommend that all new business is submitted via e-App

Women in Insurance New Zealand goes virtual

FSC: Get In Shape Session 7: Using Technology to make your business more effective

 


Welcome changes to CoFI, and more daily news

The slight amendment to CoFI ensures that financial advisers are omitted from the product providers’ fair conduct programmes. The clarification means that advisers will not have their own code of conduct, their FAP’s systems and the conduct programmes of different product providers imposed onto them. As part of s446M, insurers will have to consider training for advisers, although Katrina Shanks says that this is something that Financial Advice is looking to have amended as the amount of training an adviser is expected to have may limit an adviser’s provider choice.

“There had been concerns that financial advisers would be captured by product providers’ fair conduct programmes, which would have meant they were bound by their own code of conduct, their own financial advice provider’s systems – and potentially multiple product providers’ fair conduct programmes as well.

 

But the bill has been amended during the select committee process to concentrate on the conduct of financial institutions.

 

“We are pleased to see financial advisers have been removed from the duties of the bill which means they do not have to abide by the Fair Conduct Programme as they have their own conduct regime. However, they have been included via s446M in that financial institutions have to consider training and supervision for financial advisers, as intermediaries. This is an area we will be seeking further consideration,” said Financial Advice New Zealand chief executive Katrina Shanks.

 

She said, depending on how much product training an adviser ended up having to take, and what supervision was involved, it could result in advisers offering less provider choice.” Click here to read more

In other news:

FSC: The FSC is reviewing its pandemic and risk management plan in relation to the Generations Conference 

Partners Life: Partners is currently focused on processing Prior Approval claims under Medical Cover

Cigna: Cigna have announced that there are no immediate changes to New Business and Underwriting approaches

RBNZ: Further easing in monetary policy delivered