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Source: New Zealand Government

  • Another objective is reducing the overlap between regulators, ensuring clarity in oversight and accountability, and finally, setting clear, grounded expectations for market participants. These changes will ideally lighten the regulatory load on businesses, with a balance of effective oversight and protections for stakeholders. 

Conduct of Financial Institutions 

  • The Conduct of Financial Institutions reform – or CoFI – has been in the works for some time now. Its original intent was to ensure customers are treated fairly and conduct is held to a high standard.  
  • While I support the intent behind the legislation, I’ve heard from industry that there is room for improvement. 
  • I want to ensure that the conduct obligations on financial institutions are proportionate to the risk of harm, are clear, and flexible, putting the onus on institutions themselves to implement into their own conduct plans that reflect the demands of their customers 
  • To that end, I’m reviewing CoFI and wider conduct regulation in New Zealand, focusing on three key areas; 
  • First, I want to revert to a twin peaks regulatory model. Over time the roles of Financial Markets Authority and the Reserve Bank as conduct and prudential regulators have blurred, causing unnecessary duplication of responsibilities. I think there is opportunity for better coordination between regulators and clarity for the industry. To this end I propose transferring the responsibility for monitoring the CCCFA conduct from ComCom back to the FMA, making the FMA the sole regulator of conduct 
  • Second, I want to consolidate and standardise financial markets conduct licensing requirements. This will involve a move to a single conduct licence, and a separate prudential licence. Currently some institutions have to hold up to 5 licenses, CoFI requirements mean financial institutions have to apply for a further license. Moving to a single conduct licence issued by the FMA means less duplication and reduced operational burden for institutions without compromising conduct requirements. I propose to implement this change next year 
  • Lastly, I am reviewing the CoFI Act itself. While the framework is solid enough, there may be opportunities to simplify certain obligations and reduce compliance costs – for example, what a fair conduct programme requires, giving firms more certainty and flexibility on implementation. I believe that it is essential financial institutions have in place fair conduct programmes that  at a minimum, cover the following aspects of their businesses 

1: Customer engagement 

2: Development of new products and services 

3: Complaint Resolution 

4: Fees, particularly where you have intermediaries 


  • All  insurance companies should continue to make your applications with FMA, CoFI will be coming into force 31 March 2025. In respect to smaller insurance entities I’ve requested that the FMA  issue clear guidelines on the minimum requirements of conduct. This will allow for a tailored, proportionate approach 
  • Samantha Barrass has also confirmed, that it is the responsibility of the financial institutions to determine what is the appropriate fair conduct programme to be put in place. 
  • In essence, responsibility for disclosing what is appropriate is the responsibility of the management or board of the company. It is not the responsibility of the FMA to tell you what is right or wrong. 

Insurance Contracts Bill  

  • You will be keen to hear what is happening with the Insurance Contracts Bill under the new Government.  
  • I am keen to ensure this work is progressed, so insurers and policyholders have greater certainty about the deals they’re striking.  
  • That’s why I plan to seek cabinet approval to introduce the bill  shortly. 
  • Insurers will need to know what their obligations will be under the new Bill, and be assured I am working with officials and stakeholders to finalise my views on the Bill. To this end, I would like to acknowledge Tim Grafton’s role in this. 
  • My decisions will be guided by my goals to promote clarity and certainty for insurers and policy holders, while also ensuring that regulations remain proportionate and risk-based. 

Consumer data right 

  • There is some interest in other developments within my portfolio, such as the introduction of a consumer data right. 
  • I am expecting to introduce the Customer and Product Data Bill, as soon as possible and anticipate your engagement with the Bill as it progresses through the House. 
  • While banking is likely to be the first sector designated under the consumer data right, no decisions have been made on who else it may apply to afterwards.  
  • Any decisions about what sectors are brought into the framework will be carefully considered alongside the criteria that will be outlined in the Bill.