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Rob Everett, CE, FMA


Banks’ responses to Conduct and Culture Review


The FMA and RBNZ have now completed our assessment of the formal responses by 11 banks to our review of  Conduct and Culture in the banking sector.

All banks were asked to outline how they would improve their systems and controls, and increase their focus on the governance of conduct risk in their business.

We also asked banks to address our concerns about sales incentives for frontline banking staff.  We were encouraged that the banking industry has taken the issues raised in our review seriously.
All banks have committed to removing sales incentives from frontline staff and their managers.

Other banking jurisdictions offshore are also focused on the issue of sales incentives paid to banking staff so this commitment from New Zealand banks is a significant shift for the local industry. This marks the end of the first phase of our engagement with the banks on conduct and culture requirements. We will now be monitoring banks on how they deliver on their plans.

The real test will be to see how the banks deliver on these plans and what impact this has on promoting good customer outcomes. How those who sell or advise on financial products are paid, and the influence that has on the service they provide their customers or clients, is central to public trust and confidence in financial services. Our focus on this area reflects that.

Rob Everett


Recent publications and projects >>


Are market operators meeting their obligations?

The week we also published the findings of our yearly review of NZX, which show NZX complied with its licensed market operator obligations during the review period. We also published reports on the ICE Futures US and ICE Futures Europe markets, which likewise report satisfactory performance of their obligations. These reviews are important in assuring participants that the market operators have the expertise, resources and processes needed to operate their markets in a fair, orderly and transparent way.

KiwiSaver Statements campaign

This month you may have seen our campaign designed to remind KiwiSaver members to open their annual statements and use our KiwiSaver Health Checker tool to check whether they are making the most of their KiwiSaver.  The overall message of the campaign is that people have their ‘heads in the sand’ if they’re not checking these statements. Visit our health checker tool to learn more and find out if your KiwiSaver scheme is the right one for your needs.

Our plan for audit oversight

The Auditor Regulation and Oversight Plan 2019-2022, published this week, outlines where we will focus our attention as we conduct our audit quality reviews of FMC reporting entities. Our priorities are an improvement in audit quality based on the findings of our previous reviews, monitoring implementation of new accounting standards and changes in the audit profession, and ongoing monitoring of accredited bodies.


Financial advice regime updates >>


Start date for new regime


Last week the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Hon Kris Faafoi confirmed the new financial advice regime will come into force in June 2020. You can view the latest timeline here.



140 new AFAs last year

Last week we published our fifth statistical report on Authorised Financial Advisers (AFAs) in New Zealand. This provides a snapshot of the sector for the 12-month period ending 30 June 2018 and showed, among other things, that there were 140 new advisers last year - the highest number in the last three years.



Cut-off date for AFA applications

We’ve received a number of queries from advisers asking what the cut-off date is for AFA applications. It is still possible to apply to become an AFA up until the new regime takes effect in June 2020, however, we recommend you apply as soon as possible – and contact us to ensure we’re aware it’s pending.


While you can apply to be an AFA anytime up to the start of the new regime, we suggest you apply as early as possible to allow us time to complete your application.


If you have a question about the application process, please email


Consultations >>

KiwiSaver retirement savings and income projections and online calculators

The Government has recently published requirements for retirement savings and income projections for KiwiSaver annual statements. The Financial Markets Conduct Amendment Regulations 2019 prescribe standard assumptions that must be used for retirement projections and requirements for the inclusion of certain statements that encourage investors to engage with their KiwiSaver settings.  The Amendment Regulations are now in force and must be implemented for 2020 annual member statements. 

We are writing to KiwiSaver providers to inform them that we also expect the assumptions set out in the Amendment Regulations to be applied to any KiwiSaver retirement savings projection calculator or any other projections offered by providers.

Proposed standard conditions for transitional licences

This week we published a consultation asking for feedback on two standard conditions we are considering imposing for transitional licences relating to record keeping and complaints.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday, 26 July 2019.


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FMA news

27 June 2019 - FMA annual review of NZX published


24 June 2019 - Banks commit to removing sales incentives for frontline staff

21 June 2019 - FMA's fifth statistical report on AFAs in NZ

10 June 2019 - Kiwis take longer to choose a movie than check KiwiSaver


6 June 2019 - Morgan DeVere fined $40,000 in first FMA case of company abuse of the FSPR


29 May 2019 - 21 charges filed by FMA against man who convinced members of the public to ‘invest’ with him

Industry insights

IOSCO urges authorities to use existing standards to address cyber risk

IOSCO issued a final report that provides an overview of three internationally recognized cyber standards and frameworks used by IOSCO members. 


FCA - From Innovation Hub to Innovation Culture

Speech by Nick Cook, Director of Innovation at the FCA, delivered at the 6th Central Bank Executive Summit.



RBNZ - What's the future for cash in New Zealand?

If cash becomes less accepted and available as a means of payment, then the Reserve Bank says that New Zealanders who are already left out of the banking or digital worlds may be severely disadvantaged.


We want to hear from you

The FMA has asked an independent research company to carry out a survey of participants and stakeholders on our behalf. We want to understand stakeholders’ views of the services we provide and the way we interact with external firms. In the next week some of you will receive an invitation to participate in the survey.


We encourage you take part and give us your feedback as this helps us measure and improve the way we do things. All responses are anonymous and confidential, the combined results are reported at an aggregate level. We use the results to evaluate our efficiency and effectiveness on an annual basis. We would appreciate you taking the time to let us know how we are doing.



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