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FMA publishes 2023 annual report

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) – Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko – today published its annual report for the year to 30 June 2023.

The report captures the FMA’s delivery of its core activities to monitor and supervise firms for conduct, implement new legislation, publish guidance to industry, enforce the law, and provide resources for investors and consumers. The report shows the FMA has successfully achieved all its performance measures.

Highlights from the year include:

  • Wholesale Investment sector thematic review, including follow up regulatory action
  • Validus stop order and successful defence in court of an appeal against the order
  • The report details use of several tools including warnings, licence suspension, infringement notices, a censure, and another stop order
  • Enforcement action included the largest penalties to date for market manipulation
  • Largest court civil penalty under fair dealing provisions ($3.5M), further penalty judgements and 3 proceedings filed in similar cases
  • The new financial advice regime took full effect, in March 2023
  • Sector risk assessments published for Managed Investment Schemes and Discretionary Investment Management Services
  • Range of guidance issued for Climate Related Disclosure regime

Customers being overcharged or otherwise disadvantaged as a result of providers’ poor practices and inadequate processes and systems has been an FMA priority since the Conduct and Culture reviews of banks and life insurers. Efforts to improve practices and systems have been ongoing following those initial reviews, and in October 2022 the milestone was passed of $150 million returned to customers by banks and insurers from remediation activity, prompted by FMA intervention.

New regimes coming into effect and the launch of outcomes-focused approach

“The new advice regime successfully coming into effect this year has been a major highlight enhancing the potential for a sustainable and vibrant industry providing quality advice to more New Zealanders,” FMA Chief Executive Samantha Barrass said.

“We have made strong progress delivering on our established mandate and new parts of our remit. In partnership with industry, government and other stakeholders, we are creating a rock-solid foundation for a genuinely fair financial system, where markets are trusted based on their integrity and transparency, enabling responsible innovation and growth.

“Our commitment to strong industry collaboration and engagement has been at the heart of our work this year. We have recently been talking to industry about embedding an outcomes-focused approach to regulation. This overarching strategy will be progressively more apparent in all facets of our work in the years ahead. We will be encouraging entities to see this approach as an opportunity, engage with us openly in constructive discussions about outcomes for consumers, investors and markets.”

2023 Ease of Doing Business Survey

Together with the annual report, the FMA released its annual ‘Ease of doing business’ report, which surveys key stakeholders and industry participants to understand the effectiveness of their interactions with the FMA, and their views on FMA’s overall effectiveness in delivering its mandate. The survey forms part of the FMA’s reporting on its performance measures. Key findings include:

  • 92% agree the FMA supports market integrity
  • 95% agree financial markets are effectively regulated
  • 89% agree the FMA helps to raise the standards of market conduct
  • 67% agree it is easy to do business with the FMA
  • 83% agree that communications help them understand FMA’s approach to regulation; readership of FMA’s communication material remains high with the monthly newsletter at 86%, media releases at 71%, and guidance at 66%
  • 83% agree involvement with the FMA improved their understanding of what the FMA expects of them
  • 82% agree FMA keeps a strong enforcement function and helps to deter misconduct

 

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