Quarterly Statement by the Council of Financial Regulators – December 2023

The Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) held its quarterly meeting on Tuesday 12 December 2023. The meeting was chaired by Financial Markets Authority Chief Executive Samantha Barrass. The Council discussed the work programme of the new Government; progress made across CoFR’s five priority themes: Regulatory Effectiveness, Cyber Resilience, Financial Inclusion, Climate-related risks, and Digital and Innovation; system-wide risks, trends and gaps; and received an update on the insurance sector.

The Council discussed the work programme and priorities of the new Government and the impact of this on the regulatory initiatives already underway. They identified areas where cross-CoFR coordination and cooperation efforts would best support these priorities.

Progress has been made across all five priority themes over the course of the year with proactive cooperation and coordination occurring in each area. The Council was encouraged by the cross-agency connections being made, not just within the five Council member agencies, but with wider government agencies where relevant to the theme. Examples included the Ministry for the Environment and External Reporting Board (Climate-related risks) and the Department of Internal Affairs and the Inland Revenue Department (Digital and Innovation). They also noted the connections with similar themes and agencies in Australia and the progress made in cooperating and coordinating with Trans-Tasman counterparts, particularly in relation to climate-related risks, the insurance sector, and cyber resilience.

CoFR discussed the progress being made on developing a system-wide view of risks, trends and gaps, and how these might help inform prioritisation decisions and identify areas for future coordination and cooperation. They discussed again how the responsibility for protecting New Zealanders from financial frauds and scams was shared by a number of the Council’s members as well as parts of government outside the Council, and by the financial services sector itself. It was agreed to broaden the priority theme focused on cyber resilience to include coordinated cross-agency efforts to protect New Zealanders from financial fraud and scams. The priority theme would accordingly be renamed Economic resilience.