Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

23 Feb 2021 – IRD released a special report on the new resurgence support payment legislation. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-02-23-special-report-resurgence-support-payment

24 Feb 2021 – Companies Office published the following notice on it FSPR website: https://fsp-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz/

FSPR online services will be unavailable from 5pm Tuesday 2 March 2021 to 8am Monday 15 March 2021 while we update the register to support the new financial advice regime that comes into effect on 15 March 2021.

During this period, you will be able to search the public register, but you won't be able to log in to your online services account to file, update, or access information regarding your financial service provider.

However, FSP’s wishing to give notice of their intention to apply for a transitional licence during this period can still do so. Shortly we will publish forms and information on how to apply during the outage.

23 Feb 2021 – Hone David Clark, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, diary released for January 2021, containing just 9 items, none identified as directly relevant to financial services. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-02/Min%20Clark%20Ministerial%20Diary%20January%202021.pdf

23 Feb 2021 – The Department of Internal Affairs advised that it is undertaking a review of sector specific guidelines for accountants, lawyers and conveyancers, and real estate agents, and is offering a survey for completion as a means to provide feedback on the guidelines. https://www.dia.govt.nz/AML-CFT-DNFBPs---Help-us-improve-our-guidance

15 Feb 2021 - The FMA released the Financial Markets Conduct (NZX Derivatives Market Rules) Approval of Rule Change Notice 2021. The notice came into effect from 15 February 2021.


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

18 Feb 2021 – Privacy Commissioner newsletter confirmed that Privacy Week 2021 will take place 10-14 May 2021.

18 Feb 2021 – The former Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Faafoi, released his diary for September 2020, being the final full month before the election held on 17 Oct, with the following potential financial services sector related meetings noted:

  • 1 Sept 2020 - Meeting with Hon Little, NZX and FMA (Mark Peterson and Rob Everett)
  • 15 Sept 2020 – Meeting with FMA (Mark Todd, Rob Everett and Edwin Mitson)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-02/Hon%20Kris%20Faafoi%20-%20Proactive%20Diary%20Release%20-%20September%202020%20.pdf

17 Feb 2021 – FMA media release stating that the FMA fears Chinese New Zealanders are under-reporting investment scams. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/under-reporting-investment-scams/


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

27 Jan 2021 – Privacy Commissioner announced that he will virtually chair an international Computer Privacy and Data Protection conference over 27-29 Jan, commencing NZ time 5 p.m. on Thursday, 28 Jan, with a live stream available. https://www.privacy.org.nz/resources-2/forums-and-seminars/computer-privacy-and-data-protection-conference-cdcp/

28 Jan 2021 - FMA released its review of NZX technology issues finding the stock exchange failed to meet its licensed market operator obligations due to insufficient technology resources. NZX also released a response to the FMA review. Relevant FMA and NZX web links are https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-releases-review-of-nzx-technology-issues/ and https://www.nzx.com/announcements/366811

28 Jan 2021 – RBNZ released the results of a research report showing the Māori economy is increasingly diverse and opportunities remain for it to continue growing and reach its full potential. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/01/e-hauora-ana-e-matahuhua-ana-te-ohanga-maori-e-ai-ki-nga-rangahau


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

30 Nov 2020 - Reserve Bank invited feedback on scope of the Insurance Prudential Supervision Act (IPSA) 2010 and associated Insurer Solvency Standards, releasing two consultation papers, with submissions closing on both papers on 18 Feb 2021. The Reserve Bank will be hosting a webinar to discuss the consultations on Monday 14 December. To express your interest in participating, email rbnz-info@rbnz.govt.nz Link to the announcement at https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/reserve-bank-invites-feedback-on-scope-of-insurance-act-and-structure-of-solvency-standards

26 Nov 2020 - Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) and the Financial Services Council (FSC) today announced a merger into one single organisation under the Financial Services Council banner from 1 December 2020, creating a membership association of close to 90 organisations. https://www.fsc.org.nz/site/fsc1/201126%20Health%20Funds%20Association%20of%20NZ%20to%20merge%20with%20the%20Financial%20Services%20Council.pdf

26 Nov 2020 – IRD tax policy website included information and a link to the Minister of Revenue’s speech to CAANZ on 19 Nov 2020, outlining the Government’s tax priorities in the short term. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/keynote-address-chartered-accountants-australia-and-new-zealand-conference

27 Nov 2020 - NZX confirmed plans to create an Information Technology (IT) working group that will include leading representatives from across the capital markets’ technology ecosystem. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/364053

27 Nov 2020 – Privacy Commission website included a new post on transitioning from Privacy Act 1993 to Privacy Act 2020. https://www.privacy.org.nz/blog/transitioning-from-the-privacy-act-1993-to-the-privacy-act-2020/


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

11 Nov 2020 – RBNZ announced a delay to the start of increases in bank capital until 2022 to allow banks continued headroom to respond to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support the economic recovery. In December, the Reserve Bank will consult about re-instating loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions on high-risk lending with effect from 1 March 2021. Further, the restrictions on dividends and redeeming non-Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital instruments put in place in April 2020 will be retained until 31 March 2021, or later if required. The Reserve Bank has also written to insurers to advise it has updated expectations on dividends. The Reserve Bank expects that insurers will only make dividend payments if it is prudent for that insurer to do so, having regard to their own stress testing and the elevated risks in the current environment. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/further-regulatory-steps-to-promote-cashflow-confidence-and-stability

11 Nov 2020 – RBNZ Monetary Policy Committee agreed to provide additional monetary stimulus to the economy in order to meet its consumer price inflation and employment remit. The Committee agreed that the additional stimulus would be provided through a Funding for Lending Programme (FLP), commencing in December. The FLP will reduce banks’ funding costs and lower interest rates. The Committee will also continue with the Large Scale Asset Purchase (LSAP) Programme up to $100 billion, and retain the Official Cash Rate (OCR) at 0.25 percent in accordance with the guidance issued on 16 March. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/more-monetary-stimulus-provided

11 Nov 2020 – NZX confirmed 10 Dec 2020 as the date for the Exchange’s new separate regulatory agency, NZ RegCo, being a stand-alone, independently governed, agency performing all frontline regulatory functions in support of NZX’s statutory obligations as a licensed market operator.” Implementation required various amendments to be made to NZX’s market rules and the NZCDC settlement system rules, also coming into effect on 10 Dec 2020. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/363019


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

5 Nov 2020 – The Ombudsman published a new guide today on the OIA’s privacy withholding ground.  The new guide explains how the privacy withholding ground works, and the factors to consider in deciding whether to withhold official information on privacy grounds. https://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/new-privacy-guide-and-case-notes

5 Nov 2020 – NZX announced that the USA regulatory agency the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has granted a Part 30 Exemption Order to NZX in its capacity as a Foreign Board of Trade, thereby allowing New Zealand-based NZX Derivatives Participants to solicit US-based clients and trade on their behalf on NZX's dairy derivatives market, without registering with the CFTC as a futures commission merchant. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/362737

6 Nov 2020 – FMA released the final Standard Conditions for full financial advice provider licences, together with details of the three classes of financial advice service for full financial advice provider licences and a Regulatory Impact Statement. Seven standard conditions for a full licence include: record keeping, internal complaints process, regulatory returns, outsourcing, business continuity and technology systems, ongoing requirements, and notification of material changes. Note that the proposal in the earlier consultation to require Professional Indemnity Insurance does not appear. The FMA Consultation webpage contains links to the three key documents released today as follows:


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

1 Oct 2020 – RBNZ released its 2019-2020 Annual Report. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/about-us/annual-reports/2020-annual-report

1 Oct 2020 – FMA released its 2020 KiwiSaver report. https://www.fma.govt.nz/assets/Reports/Kiwisaver-Annual-Report-2020.pdf

2 Oct 2020 – NZX announced changes to the NZX Listing Rules relating to the disclosure requirements for Profile documents for direct listings. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/360828

1 Oct 2020 – RBNZ announced it is relaunching the review of the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act (IPSA) and commencing a review of the associated Insurer Solvency Standards. A paper has been released setting out the timeline for the Solvency Standards review project as well as the principles intended to guide the review and feedback is welcomed on this from interested parties. A second, substantive consultation paper outlining the RBNZ response to IFRS 17 and the structure of solvency standards is expected to be issued in December 2020. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/10/reserve-bank-relaunches-insurance-act-review

1 Oct 2020 – NZ Bankers Association launched guidelines to help banks serve customer needs outlining how banks will:

  • Treat their customers fairly
  • Recognise and prioritise customer interests
  • Give customers clear, concise and effective information
  • Design and provide products that meet customer needs
  • Provide good customer care
  • Identify, fix and learn from their mistakes

Link to NZBA release on Scoop news at https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2010/S00010/guidelines-to-help-banks-serve-customer-needs-launched.htm


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

15 Sept 2020 – NZX provided an update on various Listing Rules class waivers granted in March 2020 in relation to Covid-19.

15 Sept 2020 - Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, announced New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks. The new regime will be on a comply-or-explain basis, based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework. Businesses covered by the requirements will have to make annual disclosures, covering governance arrangements, risk management and strategies for mitigating any climate change impacts. If businesses are unable to disclose, they must explain why. If approved by Parliament, financial entities could be required to make disclosures in 2023 at the earliest. The new climate reporting requirements will apply to:

  • All registered banks, credit unions, and building societies with total assets of more than $1 billion
  • All managers of registered investment schemes with greater than $1 billion in total assets under management
  • All licensed insurers with greater than $1 billion in total assets under management or annual premium income greater than $250 million
  • All equity and debt issuers listed on the NZX
  • Crown financial institutions with greater than $1 billion in total assets under management, such as ACC and the NZ Super Fund

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-zealand-first-world-require-climate-risk-reporting

 


Advisers warned against cyber-attacks, and more daily news

After the NZX cyber-attacks, financial service businesses are being warned by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The high cyber security advisory that was issued addresses the current threat and details how attacks could happen. The NCSC has said that businesses should review current plans and systems in place.

“A high cyber security advisory has been issued by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), warning financial services businesses about the current threat and outlining how the attacks could occur.

Affected entities have received ransom emails demanding payment in Bitcoin, along with a threat of a significant distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against internet-exposed infrastructure if the ransom is not paid.

The NCSC said financial services firms should review their plans for responding to a DDoS attack to ensure they were up to date, and review their systems architecture to identify any potential points of failure. ”

Katrina Shanks has said that advisers need to avoid being complacent and instead need to know the strength of their current cyber security processes. She continued by saying that cyber-attacks affect consumer confidence and that there are many options for those looking to improve their cyber security.

“Financial Advice NZ chief executive Katrina Shanks said advisers would need to understand how up to date their cyber security processes were and what protections they had in place. And should avoid “being complacent”.

She said there were a lot of options available to businesses that wanted to improve their cyber security. “You do get what you pay for.”

She said there was a risk to consumer confidence when high-profile financial services firms such as the NZX, were repeatedly felled by the attacks.” Click here to read more

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Legal and regulatory news for the life and health insurance sector

25 Aug 2020 – NZX decided to halt trading early as it “experienced a volumetric DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack from offshore, which impacted NZX system connectivity.”

26 Aug 2020 - ANZ Investment Services (New Zealand) Ltd announced it will stop accepting new investment into the Bonus Bonds Scheme and, following two further prize draws, will wind up the scheme over the next year.

https://news.anz.com/new-zealand/posts/2020/08/bonus-bonds-announcement

26 Aug 2020 – RBNZ advised that the Ministry of Health granted an exemption to enable registered banks and licensed non-bank deposit takers to carry out critical financial services at Alert Level 3.

https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/08/banks-and-nbdts-under-covid19-alert-level-3-august-2020

26 Aug 2020 – Stats NZ reported that incomes fell for the first time since records started in 1998.

https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/incomes-fall-for-first-time-on-record