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)

19 Oct 2021 - The committee stage of the Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was completed in Parliament.

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.

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.

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

15 Oct 2021 – IRD released a consultation on reporting requirements for domestic trusts, with submissions closing on 15 Nov 2021.

18 Oct 2021 – RBNZ announced webinars on its Future of Money issues papers, as follows:

  • Future of Money – Stewardship
    • Thurs, 28 Oct, 2-3pm
    • Tues, 2 Nov, 7-8pm
  • Future of Money – Central Bank Digital Currency
    • Thurs, 28 Oct, 7-8pm
    • Tues, 2 Nov, 2-3pm

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.

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.

13 Oct 2021- FMA issued guidance on the advertising of financial products.

13 Oct 2021 – RBNZ issued a consultation seeking views on its enforcement framework with submissions closing on 24 November 2021.

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.



Fidelity Life make several appointments, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced that several appointments have been made as part of the insurer’s transformation strategy. Melanie Beattie joins Fidelity Life as the new Head of Strategic Alliances. Sean Craigen has been appointed as the Strategic Alliance Manager – Bank and Brands. Mike Whitehead leaves his roles as a BDM to become the Strategic Alliance Manager – Advice and Corporate. In their roles, Sean and Mike will report to Melanie. Bronwyn Kirwan has said that the new appointments will exemplify Fidelity Life’s commitment to protect more New Zealanders and increase the value proposition to partners.

“The pace of Fidelity Life’s transformation continues, with a number of key appointments to its new-look strategic alliances team boosting the firm’s partner proposition.

The appointments of Melanie Beattie (Head of Strategic Alliances), Sean Craigen (Strategic Alliance Manager – Bank and Brands) and Mike Whitehead (Strategic Alliance Manager – Advice and Corporate) were announced by Fidelity Life Chief Sales and Service Officer Bronwyn Kirwan today.

“These appointments show we’re lifting our value proposition to our partners. Our transformation includes broadening our channel mix to help us protect even more New Zealanders, and we see so much opportunity to collaborate with like-minded organisations in delivering modern financial services to New Zealanders.

“Conversations with partners about commissions are now giving way to conversations about customers and strategy, helping us form a strategic roadmap to achieve a shared ambition. We’re excited about strategic relationships with significant advice and customer-led organisations and these new appointments are the first phase of investing to be an outstanding partner”, says Bronwyn.

Fidelity Life’s strategic partners include Farmers Mutual Group (FMG) and New Zealand Home Loans (NZHL), and it recently announced a new 15-year partnership with Westpac NZ as part of the proposed acquisition of Westpac Life.

The new appointments.

Melanie Beattie joins Fidelity Life in the newly created role of Head of Strategic Alliances, spearheading a new-look team and shifting gears with the firm’s strategic partnering approach.

Melanie spent the formative years of her career in the UK starting and selling a number of businesses in the energy sector before making a switch to corporate – initially with IBM, then with EY as Head of Market Development. She became Head of Strategic Partnerships at ASB and led their partnership practice across corporate, commercial, SME, and rural/primary sectors. In 2020 she took a up new role at tech start up Trade Window as Head of Global Ecosystems.

Reporting to Melanie, Sean Craigen takes up the role of Strategic Alliance Manager – Bank and Brands. Sean is currently at BNZ leading their general insurance product portfolio and compliance roll out with third parties. Prior to this Sean worked at IAG in a number of roles including leadership of their future partnerships, ventures and innovation team.

Also reporting to Melanie, Mike Whitehead is taking up the new role of Strategic Alliance Manager – Advice and Corporate. Mike’s currently a Fidelity Life Business Manager in the Auckland region and prior to joining Fidelity Life, he held a number of roles at BNZ in commercialisation, area management, franchise management and asset financing. His background also includes time as a Ray White auctioneer and salesperson, and a 14-year stint as a stock agent and auctioneer with Wrightson’s. Click here to read more

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Financial Advice: The Be Inspired, Be Energised conference will now be online. Pricing for the two day online conference reduced to $395 +GST. The conference will be recorded and available for those that have registered.

RBNZ: Christian Hawkesby has been appointed as Deputy Governor

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance industry

5 Oct 2021 – RBNZ issued advice of a change of the implementation date from 1 Jan 2022 to 1 Jan 2023 for the interim Solvency Standard applicable to insurers. Insurers will be particularly relieved at this decision, as there were some significant challenges with the 2022 date, and the modelled requirements for additional capital.

5 Oct 2021 – FMA advised that MBIE has commenced a review of FMA funding and levies, with submissions closing on 7 November 2021.

6 Oct 2021 – Ministry of Justice launched a public survey seeking views on the impact of New Zealand’s anti-money laundering laws, with the survey closing on 3 Dec 2021.

Legal and regulatory

27 Sept 2021 – Several regulatory releases related to financial services published as follows:

  • KiwiSaver (Reallocation and Transfer of Default Members) Regulations 2021
  • Financial Markets Conduct (Communal Facilities in Real Property Developments) Exemption Notice 2021
  • Financial Service Providers (End of Transitional Period) Order 2021 (relevant to overseas financial service providers with New Zealand retail clients above a minimum threshold)
  • Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance (Exemptions, Annual Returns, and Other Matters) Amendment Regulations 2021

4 Oct 2021 – NZ Police Financial Intelligence Unit released its August 2021 Suspicious Activity Report.

4 Oct 2021 – RBNZ released its Annual Report.

4 Oct 2021 – FMA media release, as part of World Investor Week (4-10 October), urging DIY online investors to pause before succumbing to investment FOMO.

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

For novelty seekers I commend to you the last item on this list. If you are unsure about the role of digital currencies then there are some excellent backgrounders available at :

30 Sept 2021 – Law Commission published a supplementary discussion paper on Class Actions and Litigation Funding with submissions closing on 12 November 2021.

29 Sept 2021 - The Treasury published its 2021 Statement on the Long-Term Fiscal Position.

30 Sept 2021 – Commission for Financial Capability media release noting the 20-year anniversary of “helping Kiwis get their money Sorted”.

30 Sept 2021 – FMA released the AML/CFT Monitoring Insights Report covering the regulator’s monitoring of the AML/CFT Act over the past three years (1 July 2018 – 30 June 2021).

30 Sept 2021 – RBNZ issued a consultation on the future of money consisting of two issues papers titled “Stewardship and Future of Money” and “Central Bank Digital Currency”, with submissions closing on 6 Dec 2021.

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

23 Sept 2021 – RBNZ advised that it will proceed with its proposal to tighten Loan-to-Value Ratio (LVR) restrictions on lending to owner-occupiers to reduce risky mortgage lending from 1 November 2021.

23 Sept 2021 – FMA media release advising that credit card repayment insurance is a poor value product, urging customers to check policies.

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

13 Sept 2021 - RBNZ Over September RB are conducting a quantitative impact assessment exercise with selected insurers, to help understand the capital impacts of the draft interim solvency standard. They have published a template for feedback.

14 Sept 2021 – FMA stories released comment from Derek Grantham titled “The Goldilocks dilemma (or how to choose the FAP full licence class that’s just right).”

14 Sept 2021 - MBIE sought submissions on whether to reissue the Addendum to the Responsible Lending Code, which elaborates on and offers 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. Submissions close on 22 Sept 2021.

14 Sept 2021 – Commerce Amendment Bill reported back to Parliament from the Select Committee.

15 Sept 2021 – FMA media release advised that the FMA has seen a spike in investment scam complaints, issuing more warnings, since start of COVID-19.

15 Sept 2021 – Privacy Commissioner issued a compliance notice to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, triggered by a cyber-attack in December 2020.


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.

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.

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