You're invited to our next Advicemonster demonstration!

Great news! Our highly anticipated Advicemonster training session with Russell has been scheduled for Tuesday, 13 September 2022 8:30 AM-9:30 AM. 

Come join us to learn more about how Advicemonster can help you give great advice to your clients. If you're interested in joining this session please feel free to email us at info@quotemonster.co.nz and we will send through further details. Happy Crunching!


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

16 Aug 2022 – Office of the Privacy Commissioner advised of an upcoming panel presentation event on 25 August 2022 titled “Gender Affirming Data Collection.” https://privacy.org.nz/news/forums-and-seminars/register/

16 Aug 2022 – The Retirement Commission released new research that highlights how reliant older New Zealanders are on NZ Superannuation. https://retirement.govt.nz/news/latest-news/new-research-highlights-how-reliant-older-new-zealanders-are-on-nz-super/

16 August 2022 – Commerce Commission issued a reminder that changes to the Fair Trading Act take effect today strengthening protections for businesses and consumers and tackling unfair business practices in New Zealand. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2022/new-provisions-come-into-force-tackling-unfair-business-practices

15 Aug 2022 - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon David Clark, June 2022 diary released indicating no potential financial services sector related meetings held during the month. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/minister/hon-dr-david-clark

15 Aug 2022 – Office of the Privacy Commissioner released a consultation on the use of biometric information in New Zealand, with submissions closing on 30 Sept 2022. https://privacy.org.nz/news/consultations/use-of-biometric-information-in-aotearoa-new-zealand/


Advicemonster demonstration - new document management tools - updated time

Our highly anticipated Advicemonster training session with Russell has been scheduled for Tuesday, 13 September 2022 8:30 AM-9:30 AM. Come join us to learn more about how Advicemonster can help you give great advice to your clients! If you’re interested in joining this session please feel free to email us at info@quotemonster.co.nz and we will send through further details. Happy Crunching!


Fidelity Life to establish Advisor Council, and other news

Fidelity Life is establishing a new Advisor council, to provide objective feedback and advice on Fidelity Life’s initiatives and propositions.

The council will meet quarterly in Fidelity Life’s central Auckland office to discuss key industry updates and issues.

We’ll look to the council for their expertise, knowledge and connections, to help shape adviser and customer initiatives before they go to market. They’ll collaborate, ideate and discuss their views to help navigate us through emerging or unfamiliar issues.

Melanie Beattie, Head of Distribution, is looking forward to engaging with the advisor community.

“The expertise, customer knowledge and views advisers have about the industry are second to none - and we really value that at Fidelity Life. We’ve made it a point to listen and have often acted on that feedback, so we’re pleased to be developing a formal vehicle with the Adviser council where we can have these robust conversations.

“We choose to partner with advisers as our main delivery channel because we know they deliver better long term outcomes for our customers. We’re thrilled to be bringing this group together and I’d encourage advisers with the diverse skills, experience, and strategic mindset to put their hand up. We can’t wait to make a lasting difference to New Zealanders, together.”

Fidelity Life are looking for around 10 advisors to join the council. Expressions of interest close 30 September, with the selection process taking place across October and appointments made in November. Members will be appointed on a two year term and will be compensated for their time.

More daily news:

FMA warns of increasing supervision and enforcement around ESG disclosure documents

Katrina Shanks recommends financial advisors leaving the industry still need to retain PI insurance

Doctors call for measles vaccination campaign after childhood immunisation rates plummet


Partners Life acquired by Dai-ichi Life for almost $1 billion, and other news

Partners Life has been sold to Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc for a purchase price of approximately $1 billion, subject to regulatory approval.

Partners Life was founded in 2010 and now insures more than 225,000 lives with $427.9 million in premiums as at March 31.

Partners Life Founder Naomi Ballantyne.

Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne said the deal was a change of shareholder, not a merger or acquisition.

Ballantyne and her current executive team will be staying on board to lead the company. Ballantyne says

“I am absolutely delighted at our new partnership with Dai-ichi Life. I have for a long time admired the impact that Dai-ichi Life ownership has had on the TAL business in Australia, believing that it would also be an excellent future owner for the Partners Life business. I believe under Dai-ichi Life ownership, Partners Life will be in very good hands."

Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc is a Tokyo-listed global insurer specialising in personal risk insurance, that operates across Japan, Australia, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Indonesia, United States, Cambodia and Myanmar. They have total assets of more than $774 billion.

Mr. Seiji Inagaki, President and Representative Director of Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. says

“Partners Life has established a solid market position, strong customer base, and an impressive track record of growth. This is a compelling opportunity to build on Dai-ichi Life’s overseas strategy. We have confidence in the Partners Life management team and staff to continue to deliver outstanding value to its customers and their advisers.”

Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. acquired TAL in 2011, which they have since grown to become Australia’s largest life insurer based on market share (32.9% today).

Partners Life will be hosting a webinar at 11:30am on Tuesday 16 August, with Naomi and the Partners Life executive team, will provide further details around the acquisition.

Russell Hutchinson extends his congratulations to Naomi Ballantyne and the team at Partners Life for the successful sale.

“It is great news for them and reflects the culmination in a journey that has seen Partners Life grow from start-up to billion-dollar company. If you’re a competitor of Partners Life you may, of course, have mixed feelings about their success, but as a participant in the industry as a whole, it is great to see a home-grown company succeed in attracting capital and grow so fast. Given the scale of the protection gap in New Zealand there is scope for at least another couple of insurers of this size – so let’s grow.

As a footnote, I get asked from time to time, and I have been asked twice in the last 48 hours, whether I have shares in Partners Life. I do not. Nor am I or any of my family a beneficiary of any entity that owns shares.”

More daily news:

Russell Hutchinson discusses key data elements for clients' needs analysis

FSC announces lineup of guests at FSC Conference

FSC announce new FSC Climate and ESG Committee

Financial Advice NZ launch free helpdesk for those yet to apply for full FAP licence

Staff absences from sickness cause businesses issues

Digital Health Association calls for establishment of a national digital mental health and addiction hub

Level of respiratory illnesses high this year


Yet to complete your full licence application - FMA help to 'hit submit'

A reminder that the FMA 'Hit Submit" campaign is underway and will give FAPs live hands-on support who are still to complete their Class 1 licence application. 

The sessions include:

You can find out more and register here


Financial Advice NZ Ignite Conference

It is just under four weeks until the Ignite conference hosted by Financial Advice kicks off. The conference will be held on the 6th and 7th of September at the Te Pae Conference in Christchurch. The sessions are set to ignite new ideas, new possibilities, and new conversations.

You can read all about the speakers here and register here

Come along and visit us at the Quotemonster stand and say hi, we have a sweet way to help you keep your energy levels up and crunch through the conference!

IGNITE-signature-1000-x-500-px


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

11 Aug 2022 – ASIC release of Australian research on capturing retail investor motivations, attitudes and behaviours in the period following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/find-a-media-release/2022-releases/22-215mr-asic-releases-research-about-investment-behaviour/

9 Aug 2022 - FSC public release of its latest research report that reveals how New Zealanders are investing during this economically turbulent year. https://blog.fsc.org.nz/media-release-9-august-2022-research-moneyandyou-investinginvolatiletimes

4 Aug 2022 – FMA release of the results of a survey that sheds light on New Zealanders’ experiences with financial sector and concepts of fair treatment. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news/all-releases/media-releases/fma-survey-sheds-light-on-new-zealanders-experiences-with-financial-sector-and-concepts-of-fair-treatment/

5 Aug 2022 – IFRS reported that the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) had received more than 600 responses to its draft Climate disclosure standard and close to 700 responses to its draft General Requirements disclosure standard. https://www.ifrs.org/news-and-events/news/2022/08/issb-receives-global-response-on-proposed-sustainability-disclosure-standards/


Southern Cross release Healthy Futures Report, and other news

Southern Cross have released their Healthy Futures Report 2022, which explores New Zealanders’ attitudes and behaviours in respect of their health and wellbeing.

One of the key findings in the report is that the current cost of living crisis is directly impacting on kiwis mental and physical wellbeing, from changing how they purchase food to impacting on their sleep and exercise patterns.

With 93 per cent of people noting the cost of living as their highest concern – a figure that’s up seven per cent since the last Healthy Futures report in 2020 – Chief Medical Officer of Southern Cross’ insurances arm, Dr Stephen Child, said it’s no surprise that so many health and wellbeing behaviour changes can relate back to financial pressures.

“The cost of living, combined with the stress and anxiety that comes from such financial uncertainty, influences people’s nutrition choices, the amount of sleep we get, and finding the motivation or energy for exercise.”

“Of course, this then affects physical health, which in turn further impacts mental health or vice versa - and so a detrimental wellbeing cycle is set in motion that can be difficult to bring back to equilibrium.”

People living with disability or illness are most likely to be concerned about their financial situation which leads to worries about being able to afford to be healthy and having their sleep disrupted by anxiety or stress. The report also shows significant financial impacts being felt by university students, young families and caregivers.

Relatedly, there has been an increase in the percent of New Zealanders who now perceive healthy food to be expensive, which now sits at 79%.

Cost comes up as an issue again when asked about care: it is seen as the biggest barrier to accessing healthcare services by 34% of people overall, rising to 59% of university students.

Interestingly, pharmacists and helplines are being turned to more when kiwis are seeking care.

Health professionals such as GPs remain the most trusted source of health information when people are physically unwell, but the number of people turning to pharmacists for advice when they’re sick has doubled in two years – up 11 per cent to 22 per cent.

Healthline and other helplines have also seen an increase in people contacting them, up six points to 16 per cent, likely due to the significant role they’ve played during the pandemic response.

On average kiwis are getting 6.94 hours of sleep per night, with high mental load and feeling anxious or stressed identified as the main reasons sleep was being impacted.

More daily news:

Naomi Ballantyne speaks to Deloitte about being a woman in the financial services sector

Richard Klipin talks about diversity in the financial sector

Katrina Shanks talks about the importance of insurance, wills, EPAs, emergency funds

Key industry people think consumers have lost trust in the financial sector

Cigna responds to admission about having made false and/or misleading representations to customers

FSC awards nominations close 19 August

Unimed looking for a digital marketing and content specialist


Suncorp Group releases financial results, and other news

Suncorp’s FY22 results, by the numbers, for the 12 months to 30 June 2022:

 

Suncorp Group

Net profit after tax: AU$681 million

Decline in profit after tax from FY21: 34.1%

Cash earnings: AU$673 million

Decline in cash earning from FY21: 36.7%

Net loss from investment market volatility: AU$190 million

Natural hazard claims: 130,000

Fully franked ordinary dividends FY22: 40c per share

 

Suncorp New Zealand

Net profit after tax: NZ$165 million

Decline in profit after tax from FY21: 23.3%

Net incurred claims: NZ$1 billion

Net investment loss due to rising bond yields and equity market volatility: NZ$30 million

Gross written premium growth from FY21: 14.1%

Women in senior leadership positions: 50%

ANZIIF awards won: 5

 

Asteron Life

Underlying profit after tax: NZ$38 million

Reported profit after tax: NZ$15 million

New business: NZ$18 million

Claims acceptance rate: 95%

Jimmy Higgins, Suncorp NZ Chief Executive, spoke of the challenges they are facing

‘“The current environment presents challenges from economic factors and New Zealand’s health system constraints, together with emerging risks around potential impacts of long COVID, and market disruption from the proposed New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme.”

“On the scheme, it is critical for us to think about the role advisers play in financial advice and literacy; equally important is ensuring customers have access to quality case management and rehabilitation services that are essential for good customer outcomes, especially for longer duration claims. Asteron is monitoring these risks and is well placed to meet these challenges.”

Executive General Manager Life Grant Willis says it was a challenging year for Asteron Life customers, advisers, and the Asteron team.

“Due to a combination of Covid-19 restrictions and business disruptions from ongoing regulatory and licensing changes, our advisers experienced a challenging environment but continually adapted to assist customers while in lockdown and when other restrictions were in place,” says Willis.

More daily news:

Cigna increasing premium rates on life, trauma and disability cover across some products from 9 September

Partners Life release video to help advisors navigate price rejection by clients

Cigna admits to making false and/or misleading representations over its communication of inflation adjustments to insurance cover

FANZ takes part in NZ's money week campaign

FMA talks about what COFI Amendment Act regulations will cover

ASB financial results released: profits for year to June 30 $1.47 billion


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

8 Aug 2022 – Statutes Amendment Bill, containing amendments to the AML/CFT Act and Privacy Act among others, reported back to Parliament from the Select Committee. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_118346/statutes-amendment-bill

9 Aug 2022 – RBNZ commenced a six week consultation seeking feedback on its issues paper titled “Improving Māori Access to Capital”. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/hub/news/2022/08/feedback-sought-on-improving-maori-access-to-capital


The gender pay gap, and other news

David McLean, chairman of Kiwirail and former Chief Executive of Westpac New Zealand writes about how at Westpac he was shocked to find they still had a gender pay gap despite the work done towards pay equity.

I was gob-smacked to discover it was 30.3%. That meant that the median man at Westpac was paid nearly a third more than the median woman.

…an organisation can have pay equity at every level of the organisation (like ours did) – meaning men and the women in each level are paid the same - but still have a gender pay gap. Although we had pay equity, the gender pay gap was caused by more women working in lower-paid roles (e.g. in call centres and branches) and more men in higher paid roles (e.g. middle management, IT, business banking).

It told us employment in the banking industry has traditionally been skewed towards women in lower-paid jobs and men in higher-paid roles. When if a frontline service role in banking is advertised, far more women than men applied, and in several specialised areas such as IT, the opposite was true.

This meant strategies to close the gap might involve things like making a greater effort to recruit women into traditionally male dominated jobs types and bringing more women through to more senior roles. That meant addressing things that might tend to derail a woman’s career in the important middle years such as needing to take parental leave or requiring flexible working hours.

There are also wider issues that one employer can’t solve on its own, such as not enough girls studying STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). Several big employers are trying to address this through activities such as hosting girl’s schools at open days in their IT or engineering departments, creating targeted internships, and sponsoring organisations trying to encourage women into careers like software engineering.

Stats NZ announced that as of the June 2021 quarter, the gender pay gap in New Zealand overall was 9.1%, remaining relatively flat since 2017. But looking at the Financial and Insurance Services industry as a whole, the gender pay gap was a whopping 31%.

Chatswood Consulting reached out to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to find out stats on how many men and women are registered Financial Advisers and a spokesperson said “There are 11,011 registered Financial Advisers on the FSPR – 42% are female vs 58% are male. The FMA is a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion in the financial sector, noting that this is not just a matter of gender.”

When contacted, Financial Advice New Zealand (FANZ) said their split is 27% female to 73% male. FANZ are currently considering how to influence more people to follow a career into the financial advice world.

Statistics NZ have information to help you measure if there is a gender pay gap in your organisation – organisation-wide, by-level or on a like-for-like jobs basis.

Gender pay gaps are not limited to New Zealand, nor are we the only country implementing measures to improve equality.

In the UK the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a policy statement confirming that listed firms are required to report info and disclose compliance with sector-wide diversity targets for representation of women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds from 1 April 2022.

The Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA) published a report last year on the gender divide in the financial services industry. FINSEA used a combination of information from The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), which measures gender equality in non-public sector employers that employ 100 people or more and surveys of professionals in the industry. The WGEA data showed that women in financial services were well represented, making up 54.3% of the workforce, but under-represented in higher level positions, making up only 10.3% of CEOs, 30.8% of key management personnel and 27% of directors. FINSIA found the full-time gender pay gap was 27.5%. In the Insurance industry, WGEA found the gender pay gap to be 23.2%.

More daily news:

FMA’s ‘Hit Submit’ FAP licence application programme online sessions start today

ANZ appoints Jason Murray as Country Head of Cook Islands


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

4 Aug 2022 – Consumer Protection website released the results of round three of the long-term survey commenced in March 2021 to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on consumers over time. https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/news-and-media/consumer-challenges-grow-amid-covid-19-pressures/

8 Aug 2022 - A reminder that the start of Sorted Money Week is this week: https://retirement.govt.nz/financial-capability/sorted/sorted-money-week/


Great to see you all again

It was great to do the Auckland central Quotemonster session earlier this week at the Remuera Golf Club and get some in person chats with our users again.

We had a good turn out of 70 people and the feedback was great to hear. In the session we covered a number of recent enhancements made to our service over the last year and also what we have in the pipeline for the near future. We were thrown some great questions during the Q&A session too!

We still have nine towns to visit over the next few weeks so if you haven't registered yet you can do so here.

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Australia: Westpac Life sale to TAL-Dai-ichi completed

The ASX website confirms completion of the sale of Westpac Life Australia to TAL-Dai-ichi and the impact of that on Westpac's accounts. They book a significant loss on the sale but will receive revenue from the referral relationship and get a bump in tier one capital from the cash from the sale. https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20220801/pdf/45cdvfl9htkrz6.pdf


FMA releases survey about NZer’s experience with the financial sector, and other news

The FMA’s inaugural Consumer Experience with the Financial Sector Survey asked kiwi’s about their financial situation, what financial products they own and their experiences with and attitudes towards providers.

One of the key findings is that a significant proportion of people aren’t comfortable engaging with financial service providers or identifying which financial products would suit their needs.

….one-third of people (31%) feel nervous about speaking to financial services providers and a quarter (26%) find it difficult to identify financial products that are suitable.

22% agreed they don’t understand the financial products they have and whether they got a good deal.

While satisfaction with providers is reasonably high, trust in the sector is much lower.

Consumers are generally content with their financial service providers, with 77% of DIY investing platform customers satisfied, followed by bank customers (71%) and insurance company customers (70%). The satisfaction rate of KiwiSaver provider and fund manager customers was lower at 61%.

Trust scores were lower than satisfaction scores, with 67% of consumers trusting banks and only 48% of consumers trusting insurance companies.

Of the five per cent of New Zealanders who have made a complaint about a financial services provider, just over half (56%) felt it was resolved to their satisfaction.

While 76% of respondents have savings accounts, and 82% have at least one investment product, only 32% have life insurance and only 27% have health insurance. 10% of people surveyed were considering taking up health insurance in the next 12 months, and 8% were considering taking up life insurance in the next 12 months.

The top factors influencing New Zealanders’ choice of insurance products include:

value for money (35%), low prices (28%), additional benefits offered such as extra cover (20%), having good information available on the provider’s website (18%) and recommendation from friends or family (18%).

Some barriers to buying insurance products include cost (35%), a lack of experience with insurance (17%), a lack of trust in the insurance sector (15%), and a belief that insurers don’t have their customers’ best interests at heart (13%). Only 12% of respondents without insurance prefer to self-insure while 15% of respondents think they don’t need insurance.

Almost half (49%) of those surveyed had made a claim on their health insurance in the past two years.

The survey breaks down how consumers buy insurance products

How insurance products were initially bought or opened

New Zealanders were more likely to trust automated digital tools to find insurance products (40%) than for financial or investment advice.

The survey highlights the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic and inflation have had on New Zealander’s financial goals.

14% of New Zealanders have experienced a major worsening in their household financial situation in the past two years, with reduced income as a major contributor…. 63% of people say inflation is increasing faster than their ability to save.

….21% feel secure in their financial position, while 27% are beginning to make progress, 37% are not making much progress and 15% feel insecure.

We will do a more in-depth analysis in the upcoming Quarterly Life and Health Report. If you would like a demo of any Chatswood Consulting subscription services, please get in touch with Kelly Pulham on 021 311 660 or email kelly.pulham@chatswood.co.nz

More daily news:

FSC appoints Renato Mota and Alison Telfer to board

FSC says pandemic has made kiwis more aware of value of health insurance

FMA survey highlights most kiwis don't know what to do when treated unfairly by financial service providers

BNZ launches BNZ Pay, a mobile app for retailers that transforms android devices into contactless payment terminals

Sorted money week runs 8 - 14 August


Quality Product Research – Trauma: proposed rating for Benefit Payment

Introduction

We were recently challenged by an adviser on how the 90 day stand down wordings differ between insurers. There are providers who commence the stand-down period from the receipt of application while some commence this period from policy inception. 

Please find our proposed sub-items below.

Proposed sub-items

Payment

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Manager, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Legal and regulatory update for the financial services sector

2 Aug 2022 – Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs released the final report into the investigation of the December 2021 changes under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 and announced further changes to be made to CCCFA Regulations to improve safe access to credit, with the changes expected to come into effect by March 2023. MBIE will be consulting on an exposure draft of the changes in late September.

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/further-changes-cccfa-regulations-will-improve-safe-access-credit

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/consumer-protection/review-of-consumer-credit-law/initial-implementation-review-of-the-2021-cccfa-changes/

2 Aug 2022 - ASIC announced it is extending for a further 12 months the transitional relief for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence when providing financial services to Australian wholesale clients. https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/find-a-media-release/2022-releases/22-203mr-asic-extends-transitional-relief-for-foreign-financial-services-providers/

2 Aug 2022 – Data and Statistics Bill parliamentary third reading completed.

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/data-and-statistics-bill-passes-its-third-reading

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_116197/data-and-statistics-bill

3 Aug 2022 – NZX announced its intention to establish a corporate governance institute as a centre of excellence for corporate governance in New Zealand’s listed companies. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/396369

4 Aug 2022 - the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) - Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko media releases a new research project. The study includes areas on the mindset and motivations of consumers as they manage their money and deal with financial services firms. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/survey-experiences-financial-sector-fair-treatment/