Waiting Game For Life Insurers


A number of life companies have put forward their responses to the FMA and Reserve Bank’s hard-hitting report into insurers’ conduct and culture.

Asteron Life CEO, Paul Smeaton, says he welcomes the review and any measures that deliver improved outcomes for our customers.

Asteron Life CEO, Paul Smeaton

“Asteron Life is committed to putting our customers at the heart of our business, and we will be incorporating these recommendations into the programme of work that we have already begun to improve our own conduct and culture,” he said.

“Many of these recommendations will have a substantial impact on the way we do business with advisers and we look forward to working with them as we take steps to improve people’s trust and confidence in our industry.”

An AMP New Zealand spokesperson noted the company’s strong track record in supporting appropriate and transparent practices across the industry.

“AMP continues to be actively engaged with the respective regulators and we look forward to receiving our individual report when it is provided to address any further actions,” they said.

Partners Life Managing Director, Naomi Ballantyne

Partners Life Managing Director, Naomi Ballantyne, sent an extensive response to advisers via an e-update on 31 January.

“…it is premature to make any public statements about the report as we simply do not have enough detail to make informed, balanced comment,” she noted, but added:

“We certainly agree with the Regulators that the conduct of the industry towards customers and consumers should be above reproach. Customers place their trust in providers over a long period of time, and we must be able to demonstrate that their trust in us is warranted.”

In a similar vein, a Fidelity Life spokesperson said although the company is taking the report “extremely seriously”, they are reserving further comment until a later stage, after the regulators have provided the individual reports to each insurer.

Cigna CEO, Gail Costa, said there is always room for improvement and the industry cannot be complacent.

Cigna CEO, Gail Costa

“We are already working alongside the industry to respond to the report within the Reserve Bank and FMA’s timeframes with our action plans,” said Costa.

“I am committed to doing the very best for our customers and look forward to implementing changes that will further improve service quality and good customer outcomes.”

AIA/Sovereign was unable to provide comment.