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New year, new challenges

Rob Everett, Chief Executive, FMA


Hopefully everyone got a decent break over the summer. While we consciously and deliberately held off putting too much out to our regulated populations after early December, inevitably for you and for us, work has been continuing over the last couple of months.

Conduct Outcomes Report 2017

Currently, we have a sizeable portfolio of inquiries, investigations and court proceedings underway that is keeping the relevant teams very busy. Against that backdrop, next week we will publish our Conduct Outcomes Report. It describes the areas of conduct that have caused us concern over the relevant period and how we have responded to those issues. It reflects that the FMC Act provided us with a range of options for responding to areas of concern – many of which do not involve either civil or criminal proceedings.


Where we have these options it gives us much greater flexibility in responding to issues, particularly where the speed and proportionality of response are key criteria for us. As a conduct regulator, influencing financial services providers to focus on better outcomes for customers and investors is essential.   Sometimes that is how we respond to things that have gone badly but more often it is how we set expectations and guide providers towards best practice. This year, to accompany the full report, we will have an online summary of key themes on our website.


Like everyone else, we have also been focused over this period on cryptocurrencies and how regulators should respond to the challenges in how these ‘products’ are created, offered and traded. While some of the Bitcoin mania we saw before Christmas has died down, we and other regulators in NZ and around the world, expect this to continue be an area of significant challenge – balancing the wish to encourage innovation that brings potential benefits to consumers against the risks to consumers of unregulated products that carry unusual or poorly understood risks.

Digital advice

On 22nd February we open applications to provide digital advice (also known as robo-advice). Over time we think this will be a significant addition to the channels where financial advice is accessed in NZ, though we believe that ‘in-person’ advice will continue to be the dominant channel.


Rob Everett

Chief Executive

New Zealand International Fraud Film Festival

We are delighted to be a partner of the second New Zealand International Fraud Film Festival, which aims to raise awareness about the best ways to fight fraud. The two-day event will be held in Auckland on 2 and 3 March, and will feature the Oscar-nominated documentary ‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’.


To find out more about the festival and buy tickets please check the website.



23 February

Consultation: NZ Parliament - Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill

Parliament is now publicly consulting on the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill. This particular Bill effectively sets out a new approach to financial advice and will require all providers of financial advice to retail clients to be covered by a licence. We strongly encourage people to take part in this consultation, which closes next Friday (23 February). Read more ›

Guidance updated for shares designated as managed investment products

In May 2017, a class designation came into effect that designates certain shares in investment companies as managed investment products (MIPs). 

We recently made some technical amendments to the designation to clarify how it applies to redeemable shares (which are classed as debt securities under the FMC Act) and appointing alternate directors. These amendments came into effect on 12 February 2018. They confirm investment companies can issue redeemable shares, and can have a power in their constitutions for directors to appoint alternate directors, without triggering the designation.


Exemptions granted

We have decided to grant the following exemptions:

Financial Statements for Schemes Consisting Only of Separate Funds ExemptionExempts managers of ‘notional’ managed investment schemes from completing scheme financial statements, as these are not relevant. The scheme managers must still complete financial statements for the individual fund.

Irrigation Companies Exemption - This is for irrigation companies that are not co-operative companies, but operate under co-operative principles. It provides relief consistent with that provided to co-operative companies under the FMC Regulations and the FMC (Small Co-operatives) Exemption Notice 2016.


Financial Advisers Act exemptions


The following exemptions have been extended until the financial advice law reforms come into effect. The Netherlands and Switzerland are added as recognised jurisdictions for overseas custodian assurance engagements.

Financial Advisers (Australian Qualified Advisers) Exemption Notice 2018

Financial Advisers (Australian Licensees) Exemption Amendment Notice 2018

Financial Advisers (Overseas Custodians—Assurance Engagement) Exemption Notice 2018

FMC Overseas Custodians— Assurance Engagement Exemption Notice 2018This provides continued recognition of overseas auditors from appropriately regulated jurisdictions (including the Netherlands and Switzerland).

What’s coming up?

Get a heads up on what we’re releasing soon






Conduct Outcomes Report 2017


This report highlights the key issues and actions from our enforcement, supervision and preventative activities covering 2017.


Digital advice applications open

Following our consultation in November last year, we will be publishing our application form and information on how to apply for an exemption to offer digital advice.


KiwiSaver Tracker data updated

Later this month we will be refreshing our KiwiSaver Tracker tool to include the latest data up to December 2017.

Corporate governance handbook

Following our consultation in November last year, we will be releasing our updated Corporate Governance handbook.






Consultation for regulatory returns for DI, MIS and DIMS providers

As part of the licence conditions, we will be consulting on the questions we want to ask in annual regulatory returns for these providers. The consultation will also include an updated proposal for the annual declaration of compliance for all FMC Act licensees.


Report on MIS manager valuation and pricing practices


This report presents our view of valuation and pricing practices of Managed Investment Scheme (MIS) interests. Where applicable, we have also commented on practices where we consider opportunities for improvement exist.


Fair dealing guidance for crowdfunding and peer-to-peer service providers


We will shortly be releasing guidance to help people understand their fair dealing obligations when promoting, or informing customers about, licensed crowdfunding or peer-to-peer lending platforms, or offers of financial products made by or through these services.



FMA news

29 January - Oscar nominee to screen at NZ fraud film festival

All news
Industry insights

New FINRA Rules Take Effect to Protect Seniors and Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation - FINRA



ASIC reports on how large financial institutions manage conflicts of interest in financial advice - ASIC


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