Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

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

  • 1 Sept 2021 – NZ Fin-Ed Centre, Massey University (Dr Pushpa Wood and David Kneebone)
  • 14 Sept 2021 – Meeting with the Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) (Adrian Orr (Reserve Bank Governor), Rob Everett (CE Financial Markets Authority), Caralee McLiesh (Secretary of the Treasury), Carolyn Tremain (CE MBIE), Adrienne Meikle (CE ComCom), Liam Mason (General Counsel at the FMA), Hon Grant Robertson)
  • 30 Sept 2021 - Meeting with Simplicity NZ Ltd (Justin Lester, David Kneebone, and Sam Stubbs)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-10/Hon%20Dr%20David%20Clark%20Proactive%20Diary%20Release%20September%202021_1.pdf

19 Oct 2021 - The committee stage of the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was completed in Parliament. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109905/financial-sector-climate-related-disclosures-and-other

20 Oct 2021 - The Financial Markets Authority set 30 September 2022 as the target date by when all transitional financial advice providers should apply for their Class 1 or Class 2 full licences. For Class 3 licence applicants, the target date is 30 June 2022. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fmtarget-dates-for-fap-full-licence-applications/

20 Oct 2021 - The Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced a review and consultation on its policy for branches of overseas banks, with submissions closing on 2 March 2022. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/10/review-of-overseas-bank-branches-underway


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

12 Oct 2021 – The FMA released advice that the Ministry of Justice commenced a statutorily required review of the AML/CFT Act on 6 Oct 2021, with the MOJ releasing a consultation document with submissions closing on 3 Dec 2021. https://consultations.justice.govt.nz/policy/aml-cft-review/

12 Oct 2021 – IRD released a commentary on the Supplementary Order Paper No. 64 to the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2021–22, GST, and Remedial Matters) Bill, containing proposals aimed at limiting the deductibility of interest incurred for residential property investments. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/publications/2021/2021-commentary-sop-argrm-bill

13 Oct 2021- FMA issued guidance on the advertising of financial products. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-issues-guidance-on-advertising-of-financial-products

13 Oct 2021 – RBNZ issued a consultation seeking views on its enforcement framework with submissions closing on 24 November 2021. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/10/views-sought-on-enforcement-framework

13 Oct 2021 - 13 Oct 2021 – MBIE advised that the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has issued the Updated Addendum to the Responsible Lending Code: COVID-19. The addendum elaborates on and offer guidance on how lender responsibility principles and lender responsibilities may be implemented by lenders while dealing with borrowers who have been impacted by COVID-19. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/dmsdocument/17505-updated-addendum-to-the-responsible-lending-code-covid-19

 

 


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

23 Sept 2021 – First Parliamentary reading of the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2021-22, GST, and Remedial Matters) Bill completed, with referral to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_115767/taxation-annual-rates-for-2021-22-gst-and-remedial-matters

24 Sept 2021 - MBIE issued advice that the Responsible Lending Code has been updated to reflect the revised start date of 1 December 2021, while noting that Chapter 12 of the Code continues to come into force on 1 February 2022. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/responsible-lending-code.pdf


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

13 Sept 2021 – FMA announced the appointment of experienced international regulator Samantha Barrass as its new Chief Executive, expected take up the role in January 2022 with Liam Mason as Acting CEO in the interim following Rob Everett’s departure at the end of October 2021. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-announces-new-chief-executive-2021/

9 Sept 2021 – MBIE issued advice that, of significance to lenders and borrowers, the Government has agreed to a short delay to the full commencement of the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Act 2019 by two months, to 1 December 2021, considered necessary due to the impact of recent COVID-19 alert levels.

9 Sept 2021 – FMA advised that it will generally provide “no action relief” where a market participant breaches, or expects to breach, a regulatory obligation as a result of the COVID-19 circumstances and seeks relief from the FMA. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/covid-19/no-action-relief-as-a-result-of-covid-19/

9 Sept 2021 – RBNZ advised that it will be holding a webinar on its insurance policyholder security consultation at 10am next Wednesday, 15 September via Microsoft Teams.

9 Sept 2021 – MBIE advised that various papers related to the Regulation of the Retail Payments System have been released, including:

Regulation of the Retail Payments System Additional Approvals Cabinet Paper

Regulation of the Retail Payments System: Additional Policy Approvals Cabinet Minutes

Regulatory Impact Statement: additional tools for regulating the retail payments system


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

10 Aug 2021 – Fair Trading Amendment Bill completed its third reading in Parliament. Relevant web links include https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_93552/fair-trading-amendment-bill and https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/bill-cracking-down-unfair-commercial-practices-passes-third-reading

10 Aug 2021 – The Reserve Bank of NZ Bill completed its third reading in Parliament. Relevant web links include https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_99656/reserve-bank-of-new-zealand-bill and https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/reserve-bank-bill-passes-third-reading and https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/08/new-foundations-to-strengthen-and-modernise-the-reserve-bank

11 Aug 2021 – As the RBNZ issued a warning to Westpac in relation to AML/CFT prescribed transaction reporting failures, the RBNZ also issued the results of the Correspondent Banking, Prescribed Transaction Reporting and Transaction Monitoring Survey. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/08/formal-amlcft-warning-issued-to-westpac-banking-corporation

11 Aug 2021 – Council of Financial Regulators released a forward work plan providing a timetable of the planned regulatory initiatives from the CoFR agencies covering the rest of 2021 and throughout 2022. https://www.cofr.govt.nz/files/regulatory-initiatives.pdf CoFR also advised that it will receive statutory recognition under the just completed Reserve Bank of NZ Bill.

11 Aug 2021 – FMA latest monthly update included the following:

  • The FMA advised that it has joined the International Financial Consumer Protection Organisation (FinCoNet) - the organisation of supervisory authorities which have responsibility for financial consumer protection.

http://www.finconet.org/

  • World Investor Week this year is to be held 5-11 October 2021.

https://www.worldinvestorweek.org/

  • FMA Stories included a piece from Derek Grantham making an argument for the benefits of getting your full Financial Advice Provider licence in 2021.

https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/fma-stories/get-your-full-licence-in-2021/


Legal regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

30 June 2021 - MBIE published a paper: International Developments in Sustainability Reporting: https://www.mbie.govt.nz/dmsdocument/15110-international-developments-in-sustainability-reporting-pdf 

5 Aug 2021 – FMA released research on Retail Investor Platforms. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/online-platforms-transform-attitudes/


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

13 July 2021 – The Department of Internal Affairs released an AML/CFT risk assessment guide covering the NZ-to-Pacific Islands money remittance sub-sector. https://www.dia.govt.nz/risk-assessment-of-the-nz-to-pacific-islands-money-remittance-sub-sector

16 July 2021 – RBNZ, FMA & DIA, the three AML/CFT supervisors, released two AML/CFT documents relevant to all reporting entities:

19 July 2021 – At the request of Government, the Productivity Commission is seeking input into Terms of Reference for a new inquiry into the drivers of persistent disadvantage within people’s lifetimes and across generations. https://www.productivity.govt.nz/inquiries/a-fair-chance-for-all/


FSPR deregistration insights, and more daily news

As of 24 June there are 9,926 financial advisers registered on the FSPR. It is being reported that the number of advisers currently on the FSPR is likely to decrease. Since 15 June, 72 FSPs have been deregistered, with just 51% being voluntary. MBIE business registries national manager Rob Rendle has said that there hasn't been any deregistration because financial advisers failed to link with a FAP, although 550 linking failure notices were issued in June. Those that received the notice will have 20 days to update their registration. Rendle has noted that MBIE will only be able to update the registration figures after the 20 day period.

“Almost 10,000 financial service providers are now registered to provide financial advice in New Zealand according to the Companies Office, up by 748 from March 15 this year.

However, that number is expected to drop with about 550 financial service providers (FSPs) being sent letters from the Companies Office warning them of imminent deregistration.

Statistics (see below) provided to Good Returns by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment state that as of June 24, 9926 FSPs were registered on the Financial Service Provider Register (FSPR), up from 9168 as of March 15.

Since June 15, 72 FSPs have been deregistered - 37 of those were voluntary deregistrations, 34 failed to provide annual confirmation and one was deregistered for failing to provide approved dispute resolution scheme details.

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment business registries national manager Rob Rendle says the Registrar has not deregistered any financial advisers for failure to link themselves to a financial advice provider (FAP) "...as he first has an obligation to give notice of intention to deregister".

"On 17 and 18 June we gave notice to those FPSs who had not engaged with a FAP by 15 June 2021. About 550 notices had been issued.

"Those FSPs have a 20 working day objection period within which to update their registration.

"Deregistration numbers won’t be known until the 20 working days has passed, and the Registrar has completed deregistration. FSPs will be sent a notice confirming deregistration once it’s completed," Rendle says.

FSPs on the FSPR:

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 15/03/20: 9316

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 15/03/21: 9178

- FSPs registered as financial advisers on the FSPR as at 24/06/21: 9926

Financial Adviser FSP removals since June 15, 2021:

- Failure to provide annual confirmation: 34

- Statutory Notification (failure to provide approved Dispute Resolution Scheme details): 1

- Voluntary deregistration: 37” click here to read more

In other news

FSC: FSC established a Health Committee and working groups after merger with HFANZ

FSC: Nominations for the FSC 2021 Awards closing this week

FSC: April Financial Resilience Index

Russell’s piece on Good returns: Death rates and the impact of the End of Life Choice Act

RBNZ: Tide Going Out On Pacific Banking Services

nib: Helen's story


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