Quarterly Statement by the Council of Financial Regulators – March 2024

The Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) held its quarterly meeting on Thursday 7 March 2024. The meeting was chaired by the Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Adrian Orr. The Council discussed the work programme and priorities of the new Government. The Council reflected on the importance of cooperation and coordination between CoFR members to ensure Ministers were receiving advice that benefitted from agencies’ collective experience and perspectives.

Dr Rod Carr, Chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, joined the meeting to discuss the challenges posed by climate change. Dr Carr outlined how transition to a low carbon-based global economy was underway with technologically advanced countries making good progress recently in emissions reductions. He spoke of the need to integrate emissions reduction pathways with adaptation to a climate changed world. He outlined concerns about the level of understanding surrounding the scale of investment and pace of change that is needed, emphasising the important role of financial intermediation and effective emissions pricing. Any solution would require bodies such as CoFR to break down silos, share uncertainties, and lead with conviction. The Council noted that climate-related risks was one of their five priority themes and the challenges and context outlined by the Climate Change Commission would usefully feed into that work.

CoFR assessed the current state of New Zealand’s payments landscape against the vision it set out in July 2023 (Financial regulators set vision for New Zealand payments landscape). They noted the gaps, risks and issues that presented challenges to achieving the vision, in particular to modernising key parts of the payments infrastructure and the challenges for new entrants seeking access to the payments system. The Council endorsed the next steps for the joint agency working group to develop an integrated plan, in consultation with stakeholders, to achieve the vision for the sector.