Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

4 Mar 2021 – RBNZ released its decisions in response to submissions received on the Insurance Solvency Standards Principles and Timeline consultation. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/03/insurance-solvency-standards-refined-by-feedback

4 Mar 2021 – FMA released its fourth statistical report for the year ended 30 June 2020 covering activity by licensed P2P and crowdfunding providers that provide annual information returns to the FMA. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/peer-to-peer-lending-crowdfunding-2020/

3 Mar 2021 – Government announced the next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/next-stage-covid-19-support-business-and-workers

3 Mar 2021 – RBNZ further updated its statistics release calendar to reinstate a wide range of publications throughout this month. During March, it will be catching up on the remaining December month banking statistics. RBNZ will also return towards its normal schedule for banking and other financial data by adding in several publications of January and February month data. The new calendar follows:

Survey

Reference period

Series

Original date

New publication date

Liquidity

Dec-20

L1-L3

5-Feb-21

5-Mar-21

Managed Funds

Dec-20

T40-T48

18-Feb-21

9-Mar-21

LVR – Positions (quarterly)

Dec-20

C35 (also C32 part update)

29-Jan-21

10-Mar-21

RBNZ

Feb-21

R1-R3

12-Mar-21

12 Mar 2021 **

Retail interest rates

Jan 2021 & Feb2021

B3

5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021

16-Mar-21

Retail interest rates

Dec 2020 &
Jan 2021

B6

5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021

16-Mar-21

Retail interest rates

Jan 2021 &
Feb 2021

B20-B21, B25-B27

5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021

16-Mar-21

Credit card

Dec 2020 &
Jan 2021

C12-C13

26 Jan 2021 &
22 Feb 2021

16-Mar-21

LVR – New commitments

Jan-21

C30-C32

25-Feb-21

17-Mar-21


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

22 Feb 2021 - KiwiSaver (Life-shortening Congenital Conditions) Amendment Regulations 2021 (‘Regulations’) were released, coming into force on 26 March 2021. This is an important component of planning life risk - especially as KiwiSaver balances rise. It isn't quite the predictable model for early withdrawals we would have liked, but valuable for those it does cover, enabling some access to funds where a person's life expectancy is going to be shortened due to our of the listed conditions.  https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2021/0025/latest/LMS449982.html

1 Mar 2021 - The Minister of Revenue indicated an intention to introduce legislation to relax New Zealand’s loss continuity rules to allow businesses better access to capital via a supplementary order paper to the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill later in March. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-03-01-introduction-new-business-continuity-test-tax-losses

1 Mar 2021 – IRD FATCA email update covered:

  • S. IRS announced voluntary changes to the FATCA schema for reporting of missing US TINs with application to this coming 2021 FATCA reporting period ended 31 March 2021; and
  • A general reminder to New Zealand Financial Institutions ("NZFIs") about the (aggregated) account balance reporting thresholds that apply to whether a person’s financial accounts are reportable. 

2 March 2021 – IRD sought feedback on 10 proposed remedial changes to the foreign trust disclosure rules, which were enacted in the Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Act 2017. Submissions close on 23 March 2021. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-03-02-feedback-sought-foreign-trust-remedials

Feb 2021 - Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 (IPSA) RBNZ Review – New submission closing date set of 19 March 2021.

1 March 2021 – NZ Police Financial Intelligence Unit released its Dec 2020-Jan 2021 “Suspicious Activity Report.” https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/fiu-monthly-report-dec2020-jan2021.pdf


nib health management programmes, and more daily news

As part of their well care approach, nib has provided insights into health initiatives and pilot programmes. The free Health Management Programmes are intended to offer members support in managing their health and offering expert advice from nib Wellness Coaches. Health Management Programmes include:

  • Healthier Joints Pain Management programme
  • nib Healthier Heart
  • nib Cancer Care
  • nib Healthier Joints Weight Management

“The impact of long-term health conditions can take a toll on not only physical wellbeing, but mental wellbeing too. That’s why we offer our range of free Health Management Programmes, to support our members in proactively managing their health conditions (aiming to reduce the need for invasive medical procedures) while providing expert support and advice from an nib Wellness Coach, every step of the way. 

Our nib Healthier Joints Pain Management programme, for example, covers 9-12 weeks of rehabilitation and helps members effectively manage their pain and symptoms, while also increasing strength and mobility through personalised activity plans.

Other nib Health Management Programmes available to members who meet selection criteria include: nib Healthier Heart, nib Cancer Care and nib Healthier Joints Weight Management.”

Another programme dedicated to bettering the health of members is the Bowel Screening Programme. Through a partnership with MercyAscot, nib offers screening kits to members identified as being at higher risk of developing bowel cancer. The initial screening was offered to Auckland Māori and Pacific Islander members between 45-75 years and other Auckland members aged 55-75 years. More screen is set to begin in March. 

“Bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer death in the country, but there’s a great chance of beating it if detected early. To support our members who are at higher risk of developing bowel cancer, we partnered with MercyAscot to deliver our bowel screening programme. 

The programme offers free bowel screening kits to eligible members, so they can easily complete it at home and send back for testing. If needed, members receive priority access to diagnostics, specialists and treatment. They can also receive individualised one-on-one health coaching before and after treatment. 

The pilot was offered to Auckland-based members aged 55-75 years (45-75 years for Māori and Pacific Islanders). Abnormalities were found in two members results, however, early detection has allowed MercyAscot to arrange further screening and treatment. 

Wave two of the programme will commence in March.”

The partnership with Tend allows Auckland members access to GPs through the phone and through an app. Nib offering pilot subscription for eligible members. Members will have: 

  • unlimited access to consultations for a year
  • free repeat prescriptions
  • one influenza vaccination
  • annual health check

“We’ve teamed up with Tend, an innovative and convenient healthcare solution, so we can help members see a doctor all from the comfort of their phone. Eligible Auckland-based members will have access to trusted medical advice quickly and easily through Tend’s online (in-app) appointments, secure messaging or at their in-person clinic in Kingsland if preferred. Tend’s team of experienced doctors and nurses are committed to understanding individual member needs. 

As part of our exclusive partnership, we’re rolling out a pilot subscription for eligible members, offering unlimited GP consultations for 12 months, free repeat prescriptions, one influenza vaccination and an annual health check.”

In other news:

Fidelity Life: Senior Product Manager role being advertised

Fidelity Life: Risk and Compliance Advisor - Reporting and Analytics role being advertised

RBNZ: Shares fall as investors call RBNZ's bluff


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

24 Feb 2021 – Trustees Executors’ newsletter advised of the recent publication of a final report by the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) outlining nine sound practices for retail investor complaint procedures in financial markets.  The January 2021 IOSCO report is titled “Complaint Handling and Redress System for Retail Investors”. https://www.iosco.org/library/pubdocs/pdf/IOSCOPD670.pdf

25 Feb 2021 – Government and RBNZ announcements that the RBNZ is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/reserve-bank-take-account-housing-decision-making


FSC announce RBNZ outlook webinar, and more daily news

The FSC has announced that an outlook webinar will be held on 3 March 2021 to hear from Geoff Bascand, Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability. RBNZ’s first Monetary Policy Statement for the year is set to go ahead during the webinar. This means that webinar attendees will hear about the current economic as well as getting an update on cyber security and other key focus areas. During Q&A, the Deputy Governor will be joined by:

  • Richard Dean, Manager, Insurance Oversight
  • Andy Wood, Head of Supervision
  • Brendan Manning, Senior Adviser External Stakeholders

The agenda for the session is:

8.00am - Welcome from FSC Chief Executive, Richard Klipin
8.05am - Outlook 2021 with Geoff Bascand, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand
8.30am - Fireside chat and audience Q&A with Geoff Bascand and Reserve Bank team

  • Richard Dean, Manager, Insurance Oversight
  • Andy Wood, Head of Supervision
  • Brendan Manning, Senior Adviser External Stakeholders

Click here to register

In other news

From Good Returns: Guaranteed medical cover policy wordings


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

22 Feb 2021 – Privacy Commissioner released new guidance in relation to Privacy Principle 12 for sending personal information overseas, with the guidance in the form of two new interactive online tools to help organisations and businesses understand what they need to do. https://www.privacy.org.nz/publications/statements-media-releases/new-guidance-for-sending-personal-information-overseas/

19 Feb 2021 – RBNZ announced amended dates for statistical releases as follows:

Survey

Series

Original date

New publication date

New mortgage commitments - LVR

C30-35

29 January

19 February


Bank balance sheet
 

C5, C50-52, S10-41

29 January

23 February

Non-bank lending institutions

T1, T4, T11, T21,
T31

29 January

23 February


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

3 Feb 2021 – FMA Chief Executive Rob Everett spoke at the Financial Services Council Outlook 2021 event about a year in review, a look to the year ahead and key learnings from the challenging year that was 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/speeches-and-presentations/rob-everett-fsco-2021/

8 Feb 2021 – Government announced that, from 9 Feb 2021, employers can receive a $350 payment if their employees cannot work from home while awaiting a COVID-19 test result. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/new-covid-19-payment-supports-businesses

9 Feb 2021 – RBNZ announced that it is putting in place more stringent loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions. The LVR restrictions do not apply to new residential construction. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/02/financial-stability-strengthened-by-firmer-lvr-restrictions

9 Feb 2021 – Treasury released the 2021 Budget Policy Statement. https://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/budget-policy-statement/budget-policy-statement-2021

9 Feb 2021 – Minister of Finance speech delivered on the Budget Policy Statement. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-bnz-breakfast-budget-policy-statement

9 Feb 2021 – Minister of Health congratulated the inaugural Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission and its board, as the Commission marked its first day as an independent Crown entity. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/mental-health-and-wellbeing-commission-gets-work

9 Feb 2021 – The 2021 Parliamentary session commenced today.


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