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Insurers receive individual conduct reports

One insurance boss says her company refers two or three advisers a year to the Financial Markets Authority due to concerns about their advice practices – but so far that’s yielded little result.

Tuesday, March 12th 2019, 12:00PM

Nadine Tereora

Insurers have received their individual reports from the Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank investigation into the sector’s conduct and culture.

Naomi Ballantyne said the report for Partners Life mirrored the themes highlighted in the report for the whole sector.

The regulators had made it clear they wanted insurers to have more oversight of independent advisers’ processes.

Partners Life would continue to strive to do more to ensure that the customers who ended up holding its policies had received good advice to get to that point, she said.

"It's something that they think we could take the lead on."

The insurer's newly launched Evince tool would provide consistency to the advice process, she said, and ensure that customers were informed about the choice s they made.

But she said the insurer already had a number of checks and balances in place and monitored behaviour.

It referred advisers it had concerns about to the regulator. “We refer to them as things we’ve addressed that we think they could address.”

This would happen two or three times a year. “To date that has been spectacularly not useful.”

She said that was in large part because the requirements to be registered as a financial adviser were low.

Once the new legislation took effect, the FMA would have more teeth to deal with poorly performing insurance advisers.

She said FSLAB would mean changes were needed to agency agreements and if the regulator wanted more oversight the agreements could be changed to allow that.

Other insurers were also digesting their reports.

AMP said it would "thoroughly review" its individual report to address any further actions to continue to protect the interests of customers.

At Fidelity Life, chief executive Nadine Tereora (pictured) confirmed she had received the report.

She said she was taking the review extremely seriously because she wanted consumers to have confidence and trust in the industry.

"We’ve already been working hard on placing the customer at the centre of our business, but we know there’s always more that can be done.

"Fidelity Life is committed to a model where customers’ interests come first. New Zealanders are under-insured and independent financial advice has significant benefits for the financial health and well-being of New Zealanders."

Tags: AMP Fidelity Life FMA Partners Life

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