Among the FMA’s priorities for the next six months include monitoring the changing regulatory risks as the Covid-19 pandemic plays out across New Zealand and around the world.
In an announcement, the regulator expects the pandemic to continue to have a significant impact on the economy, financial advice sectors, and consumers.
“We recognise the very real possibility of further lockdowns associated with community transmission, as well as the potential for major events affecting financial markets, and have developed response processes for these scenarios,” says the regulator.
The FMA says the economic impacts of Covid-19 have the potential to “…undermine confidence and participation in New Zealand’s financial markets, and trust in financial product and service providers”.
Among the areas the FMA will focus on include preparing to respond to significant events, as well as undertake ongoing monitoring and assessment to identify high-risk entities and issues.
We have resumed our supervisory monitoring programme…
It also says regulatory activities will restart in a phased approach as it supports the industry to serve the needs of customers.
“We have resumed our supervisory monitoring programme, which includes planned, reactive and thematic monitoring of our licenced populations,” says the FMA. “On-site engagements are scheduled to commence again in August.”
In addition, the regulator will continue to outline its expectations when it comes to the treatment of customers, including those who are vulnerable due to their personal circumstances.
“We expect firms to be able to demonstrate how they have done this as we continue our engagement in the coming months,” it says.
“We will use our risk-based monitoring to identify entities at high-risk of mistreating customers and investors through practices such as mis-selling products, poor claims management and other areas of concern.
“Where we identify misconduct, particularly those seeking to take advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will quickly address and deter misconduct.”
This, says the FMA, includes enforcing the fair dealing provisions of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 relating to misleading and deceptive conduct.