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Rob Everett, Chief Executive, FMA


KiwiSaver growing steadily


This month, we published our 2018 KiwiSaver Annual Report, which shows that KiwiSaver is continuing to grow – it now has assets under management of almost $50 billion.

Getting the best out of KiwiSaver is incredibly important to so many New Zealanders and a way people can do that is by making an active choice about where to invest their money.  Default providers have raised their game in this area after some disappointing efforts last year, persuading members to actively choose a fund -  the number of people in default funds is at its lowest for seven years. There are a few providers we think could do more, so we have sought detailed plans from them for the coming year and will be monitoring their performance against these plans. We’ll continue to look for ways we can work with providers, and share information to help investors make informed decisions for their retirement.

Bank Conduct and Culture Review

We are currently working with the Reserve Bank to finalise our review of Bank Conduct and Culture. The review has taken place over a four-month period, to examine what conduct and culture risks and issues are present in New Zealand’s banks and how they identify, manage and remediate these risks. Since June, we have completed on-site monitoring visits with 11 banks, conducted about 400 interviews, received more than 1000 documents and visited 13 towns and cities around NZ.

Our review was based on interviews with bank staff and directors, and documents supplied to us by the banks - it was not an audit of individual files or accounts, or a detailed inquiry like that of the Royal Commission in Australia. We have relied on the information and insights provided to us directly by banks, consumer and industry bodies, and other external stakeholders.

Our findings will be covered by general themes relevant to the industry as a whole. Findings that relate to individual banks will be provided directly to the banks involved and they will be required to deliver a plan to address any risks identified. We also considered any gaps within the framework for the regulation of retail banking services that may undermine the effectiveness or efficiency of conduct supervision or regulation. Good conduct requires ongoing focus and putting the customer at the centre of all activities. We expect the banks to take our recommendations seriously, and devote sufficient focus and resources to making any necessary meaningful improvements. We are deep into a similar work programme with the life insurance sector – on which we are due to report in December.


Rob Everett
Chief Executive

Asia Region Funds Passport

Last month, we hosted and chaired the fifth in-person meeting of the Joint Committee of the Asia Region Funds Passport in Auckland.  The meeting was attended by Joint Committee members from Thailand, Australia, Japan and the Republic of Korea and representatives from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Securities and Futures Bureau of Chinese Taipei also attended as observers. The event was followed by an industry day, hosted by the Financial Services Council.


At the meeting, the Joint Committee decided that the Passport will launch on 1 February 2019.  The Passport will enable cross-border offerings of managed funds to retail investors between participating economies, while maintaining appropriate investor protections. You can find more information on the Passport here.



9 November


Have you given your feedback on the latest Code of Conduct consultation?

The Financial Advice Code Working Group has released a new consultation on the proposed Code of Conduct for Financial Advice Services. Provide your feedback here by 9 November.

KiwiSaver Annual Report

Every year, we publish a report based on all KiwiSaver providers’ statutory data. This years’ report showed KiwiSaver in good health, with total funds just under $50 billion dollars. There are now more than 2.8 million KiwiSaver members, and their investment returns rose from $2.7 billion to $3.2 billion a year.  Read the report or our digital highlights version.


World Investor Week 2018


The second World Investor Week took place from 1-7 October. This year, we focused on encouraging people to get involved and become confident investors. We’ve been raising awareness about the importance of investor capability and protection in partnership with the CFFC, Financial Advice NZ and NZX and through our social media channels and on Seven Sharp.

Our campaign involved a new animated video featuring a swimming pool to answer some of the common fears around investing. It’s designed to help New Zealanders gain the confidence to dip their toes in the water of investing. Watch our animated video here.

Surveying the markets

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, from time to time we undertake stakeholder research.  This month, we will be publishing the results for our Ease of doing business survey, which helps us to understand how our interactions support constructive engagement with the market. It also provides the scores for some of our performance measures that will be published in the FMA Annual Report next week.



In November, we will be commencing a Survey of perceptions of audit quality in New Zealand. The results from this will help us, and the industry, to better understand how market participants and investors rate the value of auditors and their contribution to fair, efficient and transparent markets. We will be engaging with a broad section of the market so please respond if you receive an invitation to take part in the survey.  The results will be published in early 2019.


Legislative notices update


Exemption from the requirement to disclose the name of individual loan assets

We have decided to grant a class exemption for managed funds invested in loans secured by first-ranking mortgages. The exemption will mean that managers of these funds will not have to disclose the names of individual borrowers, provided more relevant information is disclosed.  This avoids concerns about the disclosure of personal information but additionally gives prospective investors more effective information to assess investment risk.  This class exemption will replace similar existing individual exemptions.  We are now working to draft the notice to give effect to the decision.


AML/CFT guidance on the managing intermediaries class exemption updated

We have updated our guidance on how our AML/CFT reporting entities may rely on the managing intermediaries class exemption. The exemption was renewed on 30 June 2018, to make it clear that reporting entities may rely on the exemption in situations when the customer of the managing intermediary becomes the reporting entity’s customer as well. See notice and guidance for more information.


AML/CFT exemption for financial advisers acting on behalf of retirement scheme managers

We also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a significant AML/CFT exemption granted for financial advisers who arrange for retirement scheme managers to provide investors with certain retirement scheme services. You should read the notice to see the terms and conditions, some key requirements include that the adviser is an agent of the manager and carries out obligations, such as Customer Due Diligence, on the manager’s behalf, and that the adviser has reasonable cause to believe the manager is compliant with its AML/CFT obligations.  See more.


What's coming up

Over the next month, we’ll be publishing our Annual Report 2018 and our review of Bank Conduct and Culture.

We’re hiring

Join a vibrant and dynamic team that embraces work-life balance, a commitment to employee well-being, and opportunities for learning and development.  Check our website to find out more.


FMA news

12 OctoberFMA update on Forestlands


9 OctoberKiwiSaver nears $50 billion in 2018


4 October - FMA issues infringement notice to Pacific Eagle Capital


26 September - FADC decisions published


Industry insights

Climate change and green finance

Financial Conduct Authority


Interim Report 

The Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry


Trust and ethics – a regulator’s perspective

Financial Conduct Authority

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