Quarterly Statement by the Council of Financial Regulators – August 2022

The Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) held its quarterly meeting on Wednesday 31 August 2022. The meeting was chaired by Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr.

Key items of discussion were how CoFR agencies could further enhance collaboration when setting priorities for regulatory initiatives, the shared goals and success measures for each of CoFR’s priority themes, and public messaging regarding cryptoassets.

CoFR considered an updated Regulatory Initiatives Calendar for the New Zealand financial sector and endorsed this for publication. They noted that the regulatory agenda remained at capacity and explored options for further enhancing collaboration when CoFR agencies are setting priorities for regulatory initiatives. They committed on a best endeavours basis to avoid carrying out consultations and other regulatory initiatives from mid-December to mid-January.

CoFR discussed and agreed draft goals and success measures for each of their priority themes: Climate, Inclusion, Cyber resilience, Digital and Innovation and Regulatory burden and barriers to entry. The Council highlighted the importance of testing these in practice before formally adopting them. Regarding cyber resilience, the Council sought to ensure their ambitions were co-ordinated with and informed by wider pan-government activity in this area – utilising relevant expertise of other public sector agencies.

CoFR also considered and approved public messaging surrounding cryptoassets, to be published alongside this statement. This statement on cryptoassets aims to provide a consistent and clear warning to Aotearoa New Zealand about the risks of trading in cryptoassets while also acknowledging the opportunities presented by the underlying distributed ledger (blockchain) technology. CoFR discussed the blockchain related insights from work on the future of business for Aotearoa New Zealand being conducted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

CoFR closed with a discussion on the stressed international economic environment, noting that while New Zealand faced headwinds, the economy broadly remained resilient.