Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

19 Apr 2021 – Dentons Kensington Swan advised that the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had consulted private sector stakeholders on an update to FATF guidance on the risk-based approach to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers, with consultation having opened on 19 March 2021 and with submissions closing on 20 April 2021.

https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfrecommendations/documents/public-consultation-guidance-vasp.html

20 Apr 2021 – APRA and ASIC released a Life Insurance Claims and Disputes Statistics publication, covering a rolling 12-month period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-and-asic-publish-latest-data-on-life-insurance-claims-and-disputes-3

21 Apr 2021 – FMA media release stating that it was warning the funds management industry to avoid advertising large investment returns for the 12-month period to March 31, 2021, as this could mislead investors. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/advertising-investment-returns-could-mislead-investors/

21 Apr 2021 – MBIE opened consultation on outstanding aspects of the upcoming regime governing conduct in the financial sector, including consulting on regulations covering matters such as requirements for claims handling and complaints processes, prohibitions of certain types of sales incentives, and the treatment of intermediaries, with submissions closing on 4 June 2021. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/consultation-opens-on-additional-measures-in-new-financial-conduct-regime/

21 Apr 2021 – Parliamentary website updated for the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill, showing submission closing date as 28 May 2021 and report date as 16 Aug 2021. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109905/financial-sector-climate-related-disclosures-and-other

21 Apr 2021 – IRD advised that it has identified several errors in the recent special report on the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020–21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Act 2021, and is currently in the process of updating it. An updated version will be published by early next week. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-04-21-updates-required-special-report


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

6 Apr 2021 – The committee stage of the Financial Markets Infrastructure Bill was completed. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_93550/financial-market-infrastructures-bill

6 Apr 2021 – The first reading of the Incorporated Societies Bill was completed, with the Bill referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee, with report back due by 6 Oct 2021. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109429/incorporated-societies-bill


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

1 Apr 2021 – MBIE published a discussion document seeking public input into problems and proposed options to address jurisdictional inconsistencies between approved dispute resolution scheme rules, with submissions closing on 6 May 2021. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/review-of-approved-financial-dispute-resolution-scheme-rules/  This review process does not include the option of merging the scheme (along the lines of the Australian approach). The review looks at limits, consistency, and jurisdictional issues that may affect claimants. It is well worth taking a look at the document - advisers that have had claims would be advised to take a look too, your feedback may be especially valuable. 


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


AIA Vitality enhancements on the horizon, and more daily news

AIA chief partnership insurance officer Sam Tremethick shared insights on AIA Vitality to mark the anniversary of the launch. Tremethick noted that AIA Vitality has been embraced by clients and the wider community. Although AIA has reported a high level of engagement, Tremethick has said that the insurer is looking to introduce enhancements next month. Tremethick described AIA Vitality as the cornerstone of what AIA does in terms of shared values.

““We’re over a year into Vitality being launched here in New Zealand, and the great thing is that the community and our clients have really taken to it,” Tremethick commented.

 

“We’re planning to release some further updates in March which will provide some further benefits to clients, and a further update will happen in June.”

 

“We’re continuing to evolve, but we’re already seeing some incredibly high levels of engagement,” he added.

 

“The release of the Apple Watch benefit last year also increased people’s interest in the programme, so we’re certainly continuing to come up with new ideas.”

 

Tremethick says that Vitality has been key to its mission of helping Kiwis improve their health and catch illnesses early, and he says the annual health check benefit and premium incentives have been very successful in promoting these goals.

 

“For us, Vitality is the cornerstone of what we do in terms of shared values,” he said.” Click here to read more

 

In other news

Financial Advice: Financial Advice has reported that they are continuing to develop new tools regarding disclosure, and looking to release it in the next 10 days

nib: 2 Months Free Health Insurance on any new Ultimate Health Max, Ultimate Health or Easy Health policy offer ends 28 February 

MBIE: MBIE has updated the FSPR with information on FAP linking


Insight into FSPR usage, and more daily news

MBIE has published a document covering adviser and FAP responsibilities under the new regime. The document first sets out the rules of engagement, stating that every adviser must be engaged or linked to a FAP. Advisers must ensure the FAP registers the engagement on the FSPR. But to link to FAPs, advisers must first provide the FAP with their name and FSP number.

 From 15 March, advisers must have these things before linking to a FAP:

  1. A RealMe® login
  2. An online services account with the FSPR
  3. Authority to update records on behalf of the financial advice provider

In order for advisers and FAPs to engage, FAPs must:

  1. Log in to your online services account using your RealMe ID and password, and locate your registration in the ‘FSP Registrations’ tab of your dashboard.
  2. On the ‘View FSP details’ screen, select the ‘Financial Services’ tab and click the ‘Maintain Financial Services’ button.
  3. Scroll down to the ‘Financial advice service’ where you’ll see the FAs, if any, that you’re linked to.
  4. Click the ‘Add Financial Adviser’ button and search for the FA you wish to engage, using their FSP number or name. Select the FA from the drop-down list, and indicate whether or not they will be covered by your dispute resolution scheme (DRS).
  5. Repeat step 4 above for each new financial adviser you add. Please note, multiple advisers are displayed alphabetically. (Cont.)
  6. When you’ve finished updating your registration, click on ‘Next Step: Declaration’. Review and confirm the declaration.
  7. Click on ‘Next Step: Review’. Review the information you have entered and tick the check box to confirm the information is true and accurate
  8. Click on the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom right of the screen.
  9. Viewing the FAPs financial services, you’ll see that the FAs now appear on the ‘Financial Services’ tab.

To support the new regime being implemented, the FSPR will also be updated. The Companies Office will release guidelines and videos to help users closer to the date.

This video shows the engagement process.

In other news

Fidelity Life: Dan Wilkinson joined Datacom #RightCloud panel

Cigna: Multi-Benefit Discount promotion that applies a discount up to 7% on Life Cover or Life Income Cover with an additional benefit is set to end February 28, 2021

Partners Life: Is data the key to understanding underinsurance?


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health sector

12 Feb 2021 - FMA release advising that ANZ admits breaching FMC Act for misleading representations over credit card insurance charges. A hearing to determine the penalty was held today at the High Court at Auckland. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/anz-admits-breaching-fmc-act/

12 Feb 2021 – ASIC announced that six of Australia's largest banking and financial services institutions (AMP, ANZ, CBA, Macquarie, NAB and Westpac) have paid or offered a total of $1.24 billion in compensation, as at 31 December 2020, to customers who suffered loss or detriment because of fees for no service misconduct or non-compliant advice. https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/find-a-media-release/2021-releases/21-023mr-asic-update-compensation-for-financial-advice-related-misconduct-as-at-31-dec-2020/

11 Feb 2021 – MBIE published updated guidance to help lenders comply with their responsible lending obligations. Most of the updated Code will come into effect on 1 October 2021, at the same time as the law changes it references. The new Chapter 12, which contains guidance on missed payments and repayment difficulties, will come into force four months later. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/updated-responsible-lending-guidance-published/

11 Feb 2021 – FMA announced its General Counsel, Nick Kynoch, had resigned and would leave the regulator in late February. Director of Regulation Liam Mason would become the FMA’s Acting General Counsel. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-announces-senior-leadership-change/

11 Feb 2021 – RBNZ released a paper focused upon the extent to which economic researchers use improper methods to produce more “starry” results. For example, researchers often have to decide whether to delete suspicious-looking data points. If researchers use that freedom to favour “starry” results, their work will suffer from exaggeration. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research-and-publications/discussion-papers/2021/dp2021-01


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

16 Dec 2020 – The FMA published its Annual Report for the year ended June 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-publishes-2020-annual-report/

17 Dec 2020 – FMA released its latest regular monthly update, which included advice of two consultations expected to commence in the first quarter of 2021, being:

  • Review of the Wholesale Investor $750,000 Minimum Investment Exclusion Exemption Notice 
  • Potential exemption relief for restricted schemes from certain disclosure requirements

The FMA also advised in the update of the publication of two information sheets as follows:

Further FMA guidance identified as published on the FMA website during Dec 2020 includes:

17 Dec 2020 – MBIE advised of the publication of various regulations to support the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act 2019 and other recent legislation changes, including:

• replacing terminology from the Financial Advisers Act 2008, such as references to “category 2” financial products and authorised financial advisers. Note:
The existing treatment under the Financial Markets Conduct Regulations 2014 in relation to category 2 products (for example in relation to whether a PDS needs to be given) is preserved.
Transitional provisions have been included to give affected providers time to update documents that refer to “authorised financial advisers” and “financial advisers”;
• carrying over the effect of the Financial Advisers (Custodians of FMCA Financial Products) Regulations 2014 with some updates and clarifications;
• prescribing limited circumstances in which client money and firm money can be held together, to reflect the effect of existing FMA exemptions for NZX brokers and Non-NZX brokers;
• prescribing when firm money that is held together with client money is to be treated as client money;
• prescribing the statement that lenders can give to make clear to consumers that the limited exclusion from the financial advice regime relating to lender responsibilities applies;
• prescribing requirements for the record of nominated representatives that must be maintained by providers;
• requiring AFAs and QFEs that continue operating in the industry to retain records that were required to be held under the Financial Advisers Act 2008;
• carrying over exemptions contained in regulations under the Financial Advisers Act 2008;
• updating a cross-reference in the financial advice disclosure regulations so that financial advice providers are able to refer to their website when disclosing information about their legal duties;
• enabling financial advice providers to provide contingency DIMS without being subject to DIMS licensing requirements. This carries over and updates an existing licensing exemption for contingency DIMS provided by authorised financial advisers. The regulations also include transitional arrangements where an authorised financial adviser named in a contingency DIMS investment authority is engaged by a financial advice provider;
as well as the following in relation to financial products more generally:
• providing that certain provisions of the Trusts Act 2019 do not apply to PIE call fund unit trusts and PIE term fund unit trusts;
• updating the disclosure information that must be given by managed investment schemes to reflect changes in the Taxation (KiwiSaver, Student Loans, and Remedial Matters) Act 2020 relating to tax refundability.

17 Dec 2020 – Privacy Commissioner released the December version of Privacy News, which included information on the release on 8 Dec 2020 of guidance to Ministers and departments to help them determine when personal information can be disclosed to a Minister by a government department. https://privacy.org.nz/publications/guidance-resources/guidance-to-ministers-and-government-departments/


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health sector

10-11 Dec 2020 – Government announced it is moving ahead with plans to regulate the bank payment system to make merchant service fees on debit and credit card fees fairer and less of a burden for Kiwis and businesses. MBIE published an Issues paper: “Regulating to reduce Merchant Service Fees”, with submissions closing at 10 a.m. on 19 Feb 2021. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/regulating-to-reduce-merchant-service-fees/

10 Dec 2020 - The Australian government announced its intention to expand the operation of the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP) within the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to encompass the functions of a single, central disciplinary body for financial advisers. The Australian government further proposed that the standard-making functions of FASEA would move to Treasury. The remaining elements of FASEA’s legislative functions, including administering the adviser examination, are proposed to be incorporated into the FSCP’s expanded mandate. Legislation implementing these reforms is intended to be introduced into the Australian Parliament in the first half of next year. https://www.fasea.gov.au/government-proposal-to-simplify-the-regulatory-framework-applying-to-financial-advisers/

10 Dec 2020 – Treasury released the Annual statement by the Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision. https://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/information-release/trans-tasman-council-banking-supervision-2020-statement-release