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


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

22 Jan 2021 - RBNZ advised that it will be postponing publication of most statistical releases. It will provide an updated release calendar when it can but expect delays of 3-4weeks to most publications.
 
At this stage, statistics impacted by this delay will include:

  • Bank customer lending (C65 & C66): delayed from 12 January
  • Credit card balances and spending (C12 & C13): delayed from 26 January
  • New mortgage commitments - Loan to Valuation Ratios  (C30-C35): delayed from 29 January
  • Bank Balance Sheet (C5, C50-52, S10-41): delayed from 29 January
  • Non-bank Lending Institutions (T1,T4, T11, T21, T31): delayed from 29 January
  • Bank Liquidity  (L1-3): delayed from 5 February
  • Retail interest rates (B3, B6, B20, B21, B25-27): delayed from 5 February

Other publications scheduled for February and March are also expected to be affected, including the December 2020 quarter Bank Financial Strength Dashboard (scheduled for release on 3 March). Delays to publication are necessary because the file transfer software application, Accellion FTA, recently breached, was used for onboarding data from regulated entities and other suppliers into the RBNZ. The RBNZ will not be collecting data from these entities for statistical production until a new secure file transfer system is implemented. RBNZ expect the new system to become available in February 2021.

26 Jan 2021 – FMA published the findings of its obligations review of the ASX 24 derivatives market for the period of 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/asx-24-derivatives-market-review-released/

25 Jan 2021 – ASIC announced that it became aware on 15 January 2021 of a cyber security incident affecting a server used by ASIC . Like the recent RBNZ breach incident, this incident related to Accellion software used by ASIC to transfer files and attachments. It involved unauthorised access to a server which contained documents associated with recent Australian credit licence applications. https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/news-items/accellion-cyber-incident/


The essentials for overcoming future catastrophes, and more daily news

Diana Clement wrote a NZ Herald article on the need for being prepared in case of unexpected circumstances. Clement highlights that we need to be mentally prepared for the occurrence of personal or societal catastrophes. Clement continues by noting that getting out of debt and having savings is essential to overcome future crises. The need for budgets is highlighted by using the events surrounding COVID-19. Steve Morris, a financial adviser at SW Morris & Associates notes that we would all benefit from using digital tools such as free digital tools for personal cashflow forecasting such as PocketSmith. Insurance is highlighted as being another essential thing for New Zealanders to have in place to ensure protection. Income protection, mortgage protection, trauma/critical illness, permanent disability, business interruption, medical, and life insurance are all mentioned, with Clement saying each offers different types of cover that are useful in different circumstances. Although insurance is deemed as essential, Clement concludes by saying that no insurance policy is completely fool proof.

“My usual New Year articles are all about the positive stuff and how you can turn your year around. But after 2020, let's talk about preparedness. That includes being mentally prepared for curved balls, having savings, and taking out insurance.

Mental preparedness. Do you have a plan for the next time the world turns to custard? Unpredictable (black swan) events such as the Global Financial Crisis and now pandemic, hit us every 10 years or so. We can have personal black swan events such as divorce, or illness. Financial adviser Steve Morris of SW Morris & Associates has seen an upswing in couples separating after lockdown. This can be financially crippling. He recommends getting help from organisations such as The Parenting Place before the relationship ends up on the rocks.

Savings. Getting out of debt and building up some savings is essential if you want to ride out the next financial crisis. If you're constantly a few weeks from financial meltdown then this applies to you. It's hard, but you need to change your thinking and create a budget. People can and do turn their finances around. Use Covid-19 as the financial catalyst to get you started.

In an ideal world you need three to six months living costs (not income) squirrelled away. Providing you are still able to work and willing, most people will find a job within that period.

The best tool for this is a budget. I know it sounds boring, but it's simple to write your first budget and the outcome can be truly life-changing. I follow a number of investing and get out of debt forums and see ordinary Kiwis celebrating cutting up their last credit card or beginning an emergency fund. Don't write it off. It can happen.

Morris also recommends using the free digital tools for personal cashflow forecasting from PocketSmith.

Insurance. The whole point of insurance is to cover yourself financially when unexpected events hit. That's insurance cover for your health, income, and property.

A variety of insurances can cover your income/outgoings. They include income/mortgage protection, trauma/critical illness, permanent disability, business interruption, medical, and life insurance (which often pays out if you're diagnosed with a terminal illness. Each covers different risks and it's a good idea to seek advice from a financial adviser. Everyone is covered by ACC for accidents, but you're more likely to become disabled by illness, and only qualify for Work & Income benefits if you don't have insurance. When insuring yourself, make sure you think about the non-working or lower-earning partner, says Morris. All too often a higher-earning spouse has to reduce hours to pick up parenting duties if the other spouse becomes ill, is disabled, or dies, says Morris. Trauma cover is very good in this situation because it usually pays a lump sum, he says.

Insurance is essential in our modern world, but no insurance policy is 100 per cent foolproof. Because the things you will claim on are unexpected, they could fall outside the policy wording.” Click here to read more

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Partners Life: Expressions of interest for February virtual New Adviser Training Course open

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Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

10 Jan 2020 – RBNZ announced that it is responding with urgency to a breach of one of its data systems. A third-party file sharing service used by the Bank to share and store some sensitive information, has been illegally accessed. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/01/reserve-bank-responding-to-illegal-breach-of-data-system

6 Jan 2021 – Police Financial Intelligence Unit released the November 2020 Suspicious Activity Report. https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/fiu-monthly-report-nov-2020.pdf