CoFI passes in Parliament, and other news

The Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Bill (CoFI), has been passed in Parliament. CoFI aims to ensure that financial institutions and their intermediaries comply with a principle of fair conduct and associated duties and regulations.

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, said the passing of the bill “will establish a new financial conduct scheme that ensures financial institutions put customers before profits”

The FMA welcomes the new bill, with Samantha Barrass, Chief Executive saying

“This will enhance the culture of core financial services in New Zealand, with a focus on putting conduct and the fair treatment of customers at the heart of every business. Firms will be held to account by the FMA for the way they sell products and look after their customers. This brings New Zealand into line with comparable countries overseas."

“It is critical that consumers get the financial products and services they need throughout their life and receive fair treatment in all their dealings with financial institutions. Consumers should have trust and confidence that the institutions who sell products and services to them will always do the right thing.”

“While fund managers, derivatives issuers, and advice providers are already subject to FMA licensing, the same supervision and monitoring powers will now apply to banks, insurers and NBDTs,”

More daily news:

Insurance Business recognises business development managers

Curated Risk introduces professional liability programs for smaller FAPs

ANZIIF's Liability Conference to be held 27 July

Financial services sector records higher number of cyberattacks than any other industry group

Survey finds Covid-19 has impacted SME business holders’ wellbeing


Hospitals and urgent care facilities under pressure, and other news

Hospitals and urgent care facilities are under pressure, from influenza, Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses. As of today, there are 383 cases of Covid-19 in hospitals across NZ. Hospitalisation rates for severe acute respiratory infections are exceeding rates for this time of year over the previous seven years. A Waikato DHB staffer spoke to Stuff, under conditions of anonymity, saying hospitals are not coping.

They said the key issues causing stress to the health system were inadequate staffing numbers and underfunding from successive governments.

They also said staff were not immune to Covid and the flu, which was exacerbating the staffing shortages.

Yesterday the government announced expansion of funded access to the flu vaccine, to cover people with specific mental health conditions and/or additions issues as well as children ages 3 – 12. Epidemiologist and University of Otago (Wellington) Professor Michael Baker praises the government’s move to expand free flu vaccine access but is asking ‘why not make it free for everyone?

Workplace flu vaccination programs are one of the most common forms of employee wellbeing assistance. It is often covered by health insurance or is an action that is rewarded by systems such as AIA Vitality. Employers running wellbeing programs for staff report to us that it is one of the best value interventions. Estimates at effectiveness range from 30% to 60% in terms of preventing infection.

More daily news:

Study finds more than 19 million lives saved in first year of rollout of COVID-19 vaccines

Ministers to review whether orange traffic light setting should be changed

US FDA approves Covid-19 vaccinations for children over 6 months old

BNZ gives tips on how relationships can be financially healthy #ItStartsWithAction

ACC updates client payment rates

Economists say NZ recession almost certain, could trigger brain drain


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

16 June 2022 – APRA released the Australian annual life insurance supplementary statistical tables and biannual life insurance institution-level statistics for December 2021. https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-life-insurance-supplementary-statistical-tables-and-1

16 June 2022 - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon David Clark, April 2022 diary released with the following potential financial services sector related meeting noted:

  • 7 April 2022 – Payments NZ (Steve Wiggins, CEO)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/hon-dr-david-clark

16 June 2022 – The FMA released an update on the KiwiSaver default scheme provider change process. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/fma-stories/update-on-the-kiwisaver-default-scheme-provider-change-process/

16 June 2022 – NZ Markets Disciplinary Panel appoints a new Chair, Deemple Budhia, a Partner at national law firm Russell McVeagh, to replace Rachael Reed. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/393893

16 June 2022 – IRD announced changes to rates for UOMI (Use of Money Interest), FBT (Fringe Benefit Tax (interest on loans and DRR (Deemed Rate of Return) on attributing interests in Foreign Investment Funds. https://www.taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2022/2022-06-16-rates-updated


Budget allocates $60 million to establishment of NZIIS and delays implementation to 2024, and other news

On 19 May Finance Minister Grant Robertson presented the Government’s Wellbeing Budget, allocating $60 million to support the continuing development of the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme (NZIIS).

The amount will fund the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) to undertake preliminary work to establish the systems and operational processes for a new levy-funded income insurance scheme.

The proposed implementation has also been pushed back from 2023, with Robertson saying

“There is considerable work to get the scheme up and running, and it is now expected that it will be operational in 2024.”

Insurance Business spoke to Deloitte NZ tax partner Robyn Walker, who said

“The sensible decision to not rush this through means that the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme may become a significant matter for voters to evaluate as we head into Election 2023.”

More daily news:

Dispute before ombudsman about income earned while on claim for income protection insurance policy

Members of TripleA Association to vote whether to wind up association

Entries for Insurance Business's Top Insurance Employers 2022 close 27 May

In Finder’s RBNZ survey, 100% of experts predict OCR increase in May

And a bit of light humour from xkcd here


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

28 April 2022 - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon David Clark, March 2022 diary released with the following potential financial services sector related meetings noted:

  • 16 March 2022 – Financial Markets Authority (Mark Todd, Chair, Samantha Barrass, CE)
  • 16 March 2022 – Fincap  (Ruth Smithers, CE and Jake Lilley, Senior Policy Adviser)
  • 18 March 2022 – NZ Bankers Association Council (Hon Grant Robertson, NZBA members)
  • 30 March 2022 – Speech at Open Finance Report Launch (Video conference attendees)
  • 30 March 2022 – Retirement Commissioner (Jane Wrightson)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/hon-dr-david-clark


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

22 Feb 2022 - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon David Clark, December 2021 diary released with no financial services sector related meetings noted in that month. This is perhaps surprising, given the concerns around the CCCFA, likely next round of consultation on insurance contract law review, and the release of the proposed income insurance scheme with likely substantial impacts on the total temporary disablement insurance market work $400M+ per year. However, it has been summer, perhaps as an industry we have all been a bit keen on enjoying the good weather. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/hon-dr-david-clark


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

18 Feb 2022 – The Takeovers Panel released an updated Guidance Note to clarify the Panel’s approach to determining whether to exercise its discretion to call a meeting under Section 32 of the Takeovers Act 1993 to determine whether a person has breached the Takeovers Code. https://www.takeovers.govt.nz/guidance/guidance-notes/section-32-of-the-takeovers-act-1993/

21 Feb 2022 – A Stuff media article reported on details of the Government review being undertaken by MBIE to “refresh” KiwiSaver, with the review initiated by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Details of the Stuff article can be accessed at https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/127827633/labour-review-to-consider-removing-521-govt-kiwisaver-subsidy-from-employees including a link to the Minister’s letter to the Retirement Commissioner dated 13 December 2021.


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

10 Feb 2022 – RBNZ released aa discussion paper titled, “A monthly financial conditions index for New Zealand.” https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research-and-publications/discussion-papers/2022/dp2022-01

8 Feb 2022 – RBNZ Governor presented a speech titled, “Innovation key to the future of money and cash.” https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2022/02/innovation-key-to-the-future-of-money-and-cash

9 Feb 2022 - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon David Clark, November 2021 diary released with the following potential financial services sector related meetings noted:

  • 8 Nov 2021 – Munich Re (Munich Re and EQC officials)
  • 9 Nov 2021 – NZX (James Miller, Chair, Mark Peterson, CEO and Hamish MacDonald, Chief Strategic Delivery Officer)
  • 9 Nov 2021 – Swiss Re (Munich Re and EQC officials) – Probably meant to be “Swiss Re and EQC officials”
  • 10 Nov 2021 – Flood Re (Flood Re and EQC officials)
  • 16 Nov 2021 – Financial Advice NZ Conference
  • 24 Nov 2021 – ASB (David Bullock, Executive GM Technology & Operations; Richard Lockwood, General Manager Technology Risk & Security & Louise Griffin, GM Govt Relations & Regulatory Affairs  ASB)
  • 25 Nov 2021 – Financial Markets Authority (Mark Todd, Chair and Liam Mason, Acting CE)
  • 29 Nov 2021 - Pre-record of Virtual Speech: Financial Services Council welcome function (Financial Services Council)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/hon-dr-david-clark


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

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

  • 13 Oct 2021 – NZ Insurance Council (Chris Curtin – AA Insurance, Toni Ferrier – AIG, Andrew Brooks – Chubb, Chris Black – FMG, Jimmy Higgins – Suncorp, Declan Moore – QBE, Blair Turnbull – Tower, Amanda Whiting – IAG, Dean Edwards (acting for John Lyon) – Hollard, Tim Grafton – ICNZ, Martin Stokes (MAS))
  • 20 Oct 2021 – Meeting with Retirement Commissioner (Jane Wrightson, Retirement Commissioner)
  • 20 Oct 2021 - Climate-related Disclosures Consultation Launch Event (Video conference – undisclosed participants)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-11/Hon%20Dr%20David%20Clark%20Proactive%20Diary%20Release%20%20October%202021_0.pdf

22 Nov 2021 – Commission for Financial Capability released a statement that the National Strategy for Financial Capability partners have joined forces to encourage safer spending this Christmas. https://retirement.govt.nz/news/latest-news/financial-support-agencies-join-forces-to-encourage-safer-spending-this-christmas/


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