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/


Fidelity Life wins top culture award, and more daily news

The Technology team at Fidelity Life was awarded the Best ICT Team Culture award at the 2020 CIO Awards. Dan Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer, has said that the award is a reflection of the team’s strong culture. Wilkinson noted that culture was the first thing Fidelity Life invested in when beginning its transformation journey. Fidelity Life has said the award represents the five-year transformation strategy in place.

“Fidelity Life’s Technology team, led by Chief Technology Officer Dan Wilkinson, was presented with the Best ICT Team Culture award at the 2020 CIO Awards, a celebration of the best of the best from New Zealand’s technology community.

Dan says the award reflects a strong, above-the-line culture right across the business.

“Our culture is the foundation for every single thing we do at Fidelity Life. It was the first thing we invested in when we started our transformation journey and it’s what gets our people out of bed every day to do the amazing things we do.

“When your culture and strategy are aligned, you will win”, says Dan.

The award represents further progress on Fidelity Life’s bold five-year transformation strategy, which is built on the idea of reimagining life insurance for New Zealanders and aims to deliver sustainable growth.

Key transformation projects include Project Watson, a $25 million investment in a new technology platform due for completion in the second half of 2021; and moving to a brand new 6-star rated green building in Auckland’s Fanshawe Street planned for September 2021.”

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Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

24 Nov 2020 – The Law Commission published its report titled, “The Use of DNA in criminal investigations”. The report’s recommendations include replacing the current law which the Commission states is neither comprehensive nor future proofed. Hon Kris Faafoi, Minister of Justice, acknowledged receiving the report and stated that the Government will now consider the report’s 193 recommendations. https://www.lawcom.govt.nz/our-projects/use-dna-criminal-investigations?#1627

24 Nov 2020 – The Police Financial Intelligence Unit published “The Suspicious Activity Report for Oct 2020. https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/fiu-monthly-report-oct-2020.pdf

25 Nov 2020 - NZX announced the permanent establishment of a Technology Committee to provide specialist governance oversight of the role and use of technology in executing NZX's strategy. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/363847

20 Nov 2020 - South Pacific Central Bank Governors' committed to cost effective remittances https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/south-pacific-central-bank-governors-committed-to-cost-effective-remittances

24 Nov 2020 - Reserve Bank response to letter from Minister of Finance (on housing) https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/reserve-bank-response-to-letter-from-minister-of-finance  Also note this link containing a link to the Minister’s letter to the RBNZ https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/government-review-housing-settings

25 Nov 2020 - New Zealand's financial system supported by health, fiscal and monetary policy responses (November 2020 Financial Stability Report) https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/new-zealands-financial-system-supported-by-health-fiscal-and-monetary-policy-responses

 


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

17 Nov 2020 – FMA released the FAP final licensing application guide titled, “Guide for providers of Financial Advice Services – an introduction to Full Licence requirements.” https://www.fma.govt.nz/assets/Licensing-guides/Introductory-guide-to-full-licence-requirements.pdf

17 Nov 2020 – RBNZ launched consultation on the details for implementing the final Capital Review decisions relating to banks announced last December, with consultation closing on 31 March 2021. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/reserve-bank-launches-consultation-to-implement-capital-review-changes


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

12 Nov 2020 – IRD advised that the Government has announced some changes to the Small Business Cashflow (Loan) Scheme, including extending applications for the loan, which can now be made until 31 December 2023, an extension of 3 years. https://www.ird.govt.nz/updates/news-folder/covid-19-small-business-cashflow-loan-changes

13 Nov 2020 – FMA released its Audit Quality Monitoring Report for 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/monitoring-shows-improvement-audits/

15 Nov 2020 – The Government announced the completion of signature of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-zealand-signs-regional-comprehensive-economic-partnership

16 Nov 2020 – RBNZ announced the introduction of new series and amendments to its weekly publication of Bank Customer Lending (BCL) metrics.

17 Nov 2020 – FSC advised that the RBNZ will be holding a webinar on Monday 14 December from 10:00-11:30am on insurance in relation to IFRS17 and Solvency.


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 updates for the life and health insurance sector

3 Nov 2020 – RBNZ Governor published an Op-Ed piece titled “Sustainable Finance: The earlier we act, the greater the opportunities.” https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/11/sustainable-finance-the-earlier-we-act-the-greater-the-opportunities

3 Nov 2020 – Privacy Commissioner issued a reminder about the PrivacyLive seminar on the Privacy Act 2020 to be held at noon on 5 Nov 2020. https://www.privacy.org.nz/resources-2/forums-and-seminars/privacy-live-our-speaker-series/


RBNZ publish guide for building cyber resilience, and more daily news

RBNZ recently published a guide on how to build cyber resilience. Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand noted that the cyber space has been identified as a significant source of operational risk for financial institutions. The guideline focuses on what RBNZ’s expectations are and uses material from national and international cybersecurity standards. Bascand announced that a draft guideline has been published and is open for feedback. 

“The Reserve Bank – Te Pūtea Matua is today releasing draft guidance on what regulated entities should consider when managing cyber resilience.

The cyber world has long been recognised as a significant source of operational risk for financial institutions, Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says.

The draft guidance, which is open for feedback, outlines the Reserve Bank’s expectations around cyber resilience, and draws heavily from leading international and national cybersecurity standards and guidelines.

“As cyber risk continues to rise, there is growing awareness that cyber incidents could present risks to the stability of the entire financial system. Improving cyber resilience has become a key priority for prudential regulators around the world,” Mr Bascand says.”

RBNZ is set to run the consultation until 29 January 2021 as they believe the management of cyber resilience is a shared responsibility. The guideline works around related publications from other official agencies. After the 14 weeklong consultation period, RBNZ will release the final guideline.

“We recognise that managing cyber resilience is a shared responsibility and that it is important to collaborate and coordinate with all relevant stakeholders. The proposed guidance and our information collection plans have been designed to complement the work of other government agencies with a direct interest in promoting cyber resilience in the financial sector – including the Financial Markets Authority, the National Cyber Security Centre and the Computer Emergency Response Team.”

The consultation is open for 14 weeks and closes on 29 January 2021. The Reserve Bank will release the final guidance early next year.” Click here to read more

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Legal and regulatory update for the life and health sector

28 Oct 2020 – Financial Services Council media release at the time of the AGM advised of a solid year of member growth and increased revenues. https://www.fsc.org.nz/site/fsc1/Media%20Releases/Financial%20Services%20Council%20-%20Annual%20General%20Meeting%20-%20Media%20Release.pdf

30 Oct 2020 – RBNZ signed the ‘IBOR (Inter-bank offer rates) Fallbacks Protocol’ published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA). https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/10/rbnz-signs-isdas-ibor-fallbacks-protocol

30 Oct 2020 - The Commerce Commission published a statement of preliminary issues relating to an application from Aon plc seeking clearance to acquire Willis Towers Watson Public Limited Company as part of a global transaction. https://comcom.govt.nz/case-register/case-register-entries/aon-plc-and-willis-towers-watson-public-limited-company

30 Oct 2020 – AMP announced the receipt of an indicative, non-binding, conditional proposal from Ares Management Corporation, a US-based company, to acquire 100 per cent of the shares in AMP Limited by way of scheme of arrangement. http://nzx-prod-s7fsd7f98s.s3-website-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/attachments/AMP/362281/333930.pdf


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

21 Oct 2020 – Department of Internal Affairs published a new webinar on the AML/CFT enhanced customer due diligence obligation on its website. https://www.dia.govt.nz/Enhanced-Customer-Due-Diligence-Webinar

22 Oct 2020 - Simone Robbers, RBNZ Assistant Governor & General Manager of Governance, Strategy and Corporate Relations, delivered a speech to the 16th Annual Financial Markets Law Conference titled “Working together to support economic recovery, strengthen resilience, and develop culture”. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2020/10/working-together-to-support-economic-recovery-strengthen-resilience-and-develop-culture

22 Oct 2020 – FMA released a consultation titled “Recognition of Australian adviser qualifications”, relevant to the upcoming financial advice provider regime, with submissions closing on 20 Nov 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/compliance/consultation/consultation-recognition-of-australian-adviser-qualifications/

20 Oct 2020 – MBIE published information on its website an update on COVID-19-related business relief measures, noting that some have been extended, while others are no longer available or are soon to expire. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/about/news/update-on-covid-19-related-business-relief-measures/

21 Oct 2020 - The first statement defining the purpose of New Zealand’s retirement income system was released by the Retirement Commissioner. https://cffc.govt.nz/news-and-media/news/purpose-of-nz-retirement-income-system-defined/