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No plans to cull disputes schemes

External disputes resolution schemes are safe for now - the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has indicated no desire to cull them down to a single provider.

Friday, November 27th 2015, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

In submissions to the Financial Advisers Act review, many industry participants argued there was no need for multiple schemes.

There are three, plus the Banking Ombudsman, which caters solely for banks.

Partners Life said having just one scheme would increase experience and expertise and ensure consistency.

Kepa said: "There is some cynicism in the industry that the schemes are too numerous and over-engineered for the number of complaints being handled."

Others said schemes must be relieved when complaints came in, such was the small number dealt with.

But in its options paper, MBIE said that because there was no evidence of the negative impacts of competition, such as industry participants scheme-hopping to get favourable outcomes, it was not proposing replacing the multiple providers with a single scheme.

But it said it would continue to seek feedback on the performance of the multiple-provider model.

Submitters to the review were also asked whether schemes should be able to deal with claims over $200,000, to help them cater for property insurance disputes.

But MBIE said there was insufficient evidence this was needed, too.

Instead it is suggesting improvements to the disputes resolution system could include options such as requiring industry players to tell their customers which scheme they belong to and how to access it at the time of complaints, more consistency of scheme rules, mandatory professional indemnity insurance for providers, and asking consumers for their experience of dealing with the schemes.

MBIE said: “MBIE will continue to closely monitor this issue and work with the schemes to identify any barriers to the efficient resolution of disputes, complementing the wider goal of improving overall access to and awareness of the scheme.”

Tags: disputes

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