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Helping businesses adapt to the new regulatory regime

Recently appointed director of regulation Liam Mason, shares his thoughts.


It’s a privilege to be the new director of regulation at the FMA. This is an exciting time to take on a new role, backed by a dedicated and talented team.

Across our Auckland and Wellington offices, our priority is to help businesses adapt to the new regulatory regime. We do this through: licensing, exemptions, information, and guidance. This update covers some of what we do, such as our current consultation on risk indicators and descriptions of managed funds.

Our focus
Our regulatory work is focused on areas identified in our Strategic Risk Outlook. Examples are our work on governance and culture among businesses in financial markets. 

An important part of this is to raise the level of contact between firms that have a significant presence in our markets and our senior executives. This is what we call entity-based relationship management.

This deepens our understanding of the firms we regulate. Open communication ensures we can each share our priorities and concerns.

How we respond to emerging risks
As we deepen our supervisory contact with licensed firms, we need to keep an eye on the financial services and investment activities that fall outside our day-to-day supervisory reach — this requires we keep an eye on the perimeter of regulation.

The new fair dealing rules mean the FMA's mandate extends across almost all financial services, products, and investments.  Part of our job here is to improve our understanding of activities along this perimeter so we can assess and respond to emerging risks.

Tell us your concerns
This is a real challenge with scarce resources. But here, our interests and those of the regulated population are completely aligned as we aim to keep confidence in our markets and our regulation.

The best information about conduct along the edges of regulation comes from those in the market. I’d like to encourage you to let us know what you are seeing. Tell us your concerns, whether or not the conduct you are seeing is within, or outside, regulated firms.

Liam Mason

Director of Regulation, FMA

FMA publishes Statement of Intent

Released last month, our SOI outlines the FMA’s seven strategic priorities and explains how we will measure our success against these priorities using a fully overhauled set of performance measures.




22 July – MBIE survey on financial advice closes tomorrow
A survey the Government is conducting about reviewing some of the laws that regulate financial advisers and financial service providers closes tomorrow. To take part please see here.


31 August - Last day to submit your annual AML/CFT report
Reporting entities supervised by the FMA have six weeks left to submit their annual AML/CFT report through our online system. Remember, submissions close on 31 August 2015. Please check our website for more information.

17 August – 30 September - AFA Information Return
Next month the AFA Information Return opens for submissions. AFAs can complete their returns online between Monday 17 August and 30 September 2015.  For more information please see our website.

What's new!

New and updated FAQs pages


As a result of your feedback, we’ve created new FAQ pages for Offer information and DIMS topics.  These pages are a good place to start. We will update the pages as we receive new questions. We have also recently updated our financial reporting FAQs.  We hope you find them useful but if you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, please contact us.

Auditor regulation and oversight plan 2015-2018

To help auditors, accredited bodies and audit firms understand our regulatory approach, we have published our three-year auditor regulation and oversight plan that sets out our intentions. Read it in full here.

Disclosure of fees paid to auditors by listed issuers

In our latest review of the disclosure of fees paid to auditors by listed issuers, we found that 84% of our sample met the disclosure requirements of FRS 44.  Read the full report here.



AML/CFT — quick guide for small financial adviser businesses

Are you a financial adviser currently completing your annual AML/CFT report? If you need help, this guide is for you. Download the guide here.






Class exemptions for managing intermediaries

Earlier this month we published an information sheet to help reporting entities understand the AML/CFT Class Exemptions Amendment Notice (No 2) 2015 (Managing Intermediaries Exemption)  Download the information sheet here.



What's coming up


Look out for our enforcement report next month.


FMA launches investor capability strategy

Building capable investors is key to well-functioning financial markets. Our recently-launched strategy details what we are going to focus on and who we will be targeting.
We’ll be working closely with the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) and the financial services industry to deliver on the strategy.


Current consultation

Draft guidance on risk indicators and descriptions of managed funds.


We invite your comments and feedback on this consultation.


Submissions close 15 August 2015. 

Upcoming consultation

Want to find out what consultation topics we are planning to get your feedback on? 


Check our recently updated consultation section of our website to see what is coming up in July and August and later this year.


Case updates

See recent updates on:



Once again, we'll be taking part in this year’s Money Week. Hosted by the Commission for Financial Capability, the week-long event aims to get people talking about money. Everyone — from schools and workplaces, to businesses and community groups is encouraged to get involved and help people get their money fighting fit. For more information visit the moneyweek website



Our latest warning, against doing business with Alliance Group Tokyo, comes from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). Find out about this warning and others on our website.


FMA news

A summary of recent FMA media releases and/or speeches.

13 July - FMA obtains enforceable undertakings from NZ residents found liable for financial misconduct in Australia

6 July - FMA settlement with Hanover defendants provides $18 million compensation for investors

23 June - Most Kiwis remain confident in NZ’s financial markets, survey shows

23 June - Settlement reached over ASB rural interest rate swaps

18 June - Milford Asset Management to pay $1.5 million following FMA investigation

Industry news

20 July - Exclusive Interview: New Zealand Watchdog Bucking Global Trends


19 July- Volatility will test KiwiSavers' mettle


17 July - Receivers to claw back funds from investors in fictitious fund


17 July - Strategic Planning exec jailed for six years


15 July - Are our financial advice laws ‘a sure-fire recipe for utter confusion’?


14 July - FMA deal 'imaginative' use of power: Chapman Tripp


7 July - FMA to tackle Kiwi lack of investment know-how




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