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Helping investors to help themselves

Rob Everett, Chief Executive, FMA


I’d like to share some of the highlights of our recent work aimed at helping New Zealanders make informed, confident investment decisions.

Key was updating our guidance on KiwiSaver advice. The drivers behind this were research, including a survey, that showed us:


  1. KiwiSaver investors were not getting advice or any real help at all, and
  2. industry told us that the original version of our sales and advice guidance was part of the problem. 

There’s lots of talk about the so-called ‘advice gap’ in the context of the Financial Advisers Act review but nowhere was it so stark (or more attributed directly to us, and which we could therefore do something about) than here.

We’ve also been assisting MBIE with their work to encourage more KiwiSaver members to engage with their investments – including getting more KiwiSaver providers to start meaningful conversations with their customers.  This includes work on including fee information in annual statements and other disclosures.

This reflects our strong view that understanding how (and why) investors react to financial products is crucial to having more effective dialogue with providers AND working out where we can help investors.

An example of this is a research report we commissioned on ‘ingredients of confidence about retirement’. This tells us (or confirms for us) a few important points. Those who do some proper homework and/or get professional advice justifiably feel more confident about their financial prospects in retirement - and the earlier you start the better.

Last week we moved to bring short-dated FX derivatives (such as binary options) within our licensed derivatives regime.  Too many people are getting hurt in this space and whilst a license requirement may not stop dodgy overseas operators targeting NZers, we do hope that it will reinforce to those who want to play in high risk areas like FX trading, that they should deal with businesses located and regulated here.


Rob Everett

Chief Executive

New Head of Enforcement appointed

We are pleased to welcome Karen Chang to the role of Head of Enforcement.  Karen joins us from Meredith Connell where she worked as a prosecutor representing FMA, particularly on the finance company cases.




Karen has over 14 years’ experience of commercial litigation and criminal prosecution, in New Zealand, Australia and New York.Karen is responsible for all aspects of our litigation and enforcement activities and we are delighted she has joined us in this critical role.


Consultation reminders

Don't forget to take part in our consultations that close on the following dates:


28 April


Consultation paper: Short duration derivatives Read more ›


5 May

Consultation paper: KiwiSaver annual statements  –  fees calculation of total fees (in dollar values)

Read more ›

31 May


Consultation paper: Improving financial information in an equity PDS Read more ›

Want to compare KiwiSaver data?

Did you know that since 2013 we have regularly published KiwiSaver information in one downloadable file? Using information from the Disclose Register, we publish quarterly and annual KiwiSaver managers’ data to support further analysis and to better enable third parties to develop resources for consumers. See our website for more information.


Exemption for non-NZX brokers

We have decided to grant a limited transitional class exemption for non-NZX participant brokers from the requirement to keep client money and property separate from their own money and property.  


This will allow non-NZX brokers to maintain a limited buffer of their own money in their client money trust account. We intend to finalise a notice to give effect to this decision by mid-2017. Further details are on our website.

Minor and technical changes made to various financial market laws

The Regulatory Systems (Commercial Matters) Amendment Act 2017 was passed into law on 30 March 2017.  This makes minor and technical changes to the Financial Markets Conduct Act (FMC Act) and other financial market laws.  These are not yet in force but will be by a further Order in Council or on 30 March 2018 (whichever is earlier).  For more information see


Using the FMA logo


This is a friendly reminder that we don’t permit third-party use of our logo without prior written approval. Generally we will only accept requests to use our logo on content we’re directly involved in, for example promotion of a joint event. We don’t permit use on individual or business stationary, websites or promotional material.

Tell us what you think!

We are always looking for ways to improve this newsletter to make it as useful and informative for you. 


If you have a spare moment, please complete this 3 question survey and tell us what you like best and what we can improve on. 


Thanks in advance for your views!


What's on the horizon - coming soon

Look out for the following consultation papers we’ll be releasing soon:


  • Consultation: As a result of engagement with the MIS sector, we will be consulting on a potential exemption for MIS managers.  The exemption would grant relief from the requirement to prepare scheme financial statements where the scheme is composed of a number of unit trusts that do not have joint liabilities. If granted, MIS managers will still have to prepare financial statements for each of the unit trusts (separate funds).
  • Consultation: On exemption relief for MIS managers that cannot provide an ‘appropriate market index’ for managed funds, where these funds have significant direct or underlying investment into alternative asset classes.  Any relief would be on the basis of alternative requirements, such as a peer group index.

We’re hiring!

Do you want to join a vibrant and dynamic team that embraces work-life balance, a commitment to employee well-being, and opportunities for learning and development?  We have a range of roles available so please check our website to find out more.


FMA news

11 April - Guilty plea in insider trading case


5 April - Wise-up about retirement now, so you can relax and enjoy it later


3 April - FMA confirms short-term derivatives to be licensed


27 March - FMA releases AFA information report

22 March - FMA Statement on Forestlands

16 March - FMA files charges under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act

Industry insights

Blurred lines: How FinTech is shaping Financial Services



9 biggest information security threats through 2019



The dark side of transparency
McKinsey & company


Angst in America, Part 3: Retiring Broke

Mauldin Economics


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