Quarterly Statement by the Council of Financial Regulators – May 2023

The Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) held its quarterly meeting on Wednesday 31 May 2023. The meeting was chaired by Financial Markets Authority Chief Executive Samantha Barrass.

The Council discussed the regulatory agenda for the insurance sector, the future of New Zealand’s payments landscape, the combined efforts to ensure proportionate regulation of New Zealand’s financial system, joint work on Māori access to capital, and the Commerce Commission’s experience with market studies.

CoFR considered the combined impact of current regulatory initiatives in relation to the insurance sector. They also discussed observed trends in this sector and potential future risks including in relation to climate change, and consumer outcomes. This sector-wide discussion was intended to provide a backdrop to individual CoFR members’ medium-term regulatory planning as well as advice to Ministers.

The Council discussed the various regulatory initiatives impacting New Zealand’s payments landscape as well as discussing the long-term goals for New Zealand’s payments landscape. They agreed that the combined regulatory settings should enable reliable and efficient payments that better meets the evolving needs of all New Zealanders; and discussed how best to communicate and embed this into the future regulatory work programme.

The Council consider that proportionality in regulation needs to be guided by the risks identified. At this meeting they discussed what each Council member was doing to support a proportionate approach to the regulation of New Zealand’s financial system. The Council discussed how best to keep key stakeholders updated on these efforts including the Government and regulated entities.

CoFR received an update on the work programme to identify and address barriers to Māori accessing capital through New Zealand’s financial system. Their discussion focused on how CoFR members could collaboratively support the work programme in the context of the wider goals surrounding financial inclusion - one of CoFR’s five priority themes.

The Council also heard about the ongoing work to facilitate a co-ordinated response to the severe weather events in New Zealand earlier in the year.