The New Zealand Government has announced it will scrutinise the outcomes of the Australian Royal Commission to see if the recommendations should be implemented in New Zealand, following the ARC’s final report released last week (see: Bleak Future for Life Insurance…).
However, the Government noted it has already committed to ensure consumer interests are protected in the banking and insurance sector.
Minister of Finance, Hon Grant Robertson, said that a financial sector putting profits ahead of customers was unacceptable, but banks and the wider financial sector were already “on notice” in New Zealand.
“The New Zealand Government had already received reports on conduct and culture in our banking and insurance industry from the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank of New Zealand,” said Robertson.
“The reviews have identified a number of issues with bank and insurer conduct, and also gaps in how we regulate them. Some of the issues are similar to those highlighted by the Australian Royal Commission, but not as widespread.”
“We will look closely at the recommendations of the Royal Commission to see whether they should be implemented here.”
Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon Kris Faafoi, noted the Government’s announcement last week of its commitment in fast-tracking customer protection measures across the financial sector, following the FMA RBNZ report on insurer conduct (see: Government Pledges…).
“New Zealand will have a regime where banks and insurers are entirely focused on good outcomes for the consumer,” he said, listing the work underway regarding the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Bill, consultation on customer protection measures and review of insurance contract law.
“Consumers are at the top of my mind because unless we share New Zealand’s prosperity more fairly, our economy is not going to deliver for New Zealanders,” said Faafoi.