I joined the FMA as General Counsel in February and I’m excited to be at the forefront of the continuing evolution of New Zealand’s financial regulatory regime. As General Counsel, I have responsibility for our policy and governance, litigation and enforcement, corporate legal and internal audit teams. These teams contribute to fulfilling the FMA’s objectives and engage with industry in a variety of ways.
In readiness for the FMC Act regime, we’re working closely with businesses and market professionals to utilise the new legislative tools at our disposal. Exemptions, frameworks and methodologies for disclosure and governance processes, public accountability notices, and designations all support businesses with their compliance requirements. They also help strengthen public confidence and support vibrant markets – key to the Government’s growth agenda.
We have published a Regulatory Update that summarises the various legislative notices we have issued, decisions we’ve made and matters we’re currently considering. In choosing if and how to utilise these tools, we always seek to balance regulatory burden with benefit – mindful that the point of all of this is to achieve positive investor outcomes.
Unfortunately, there will be instances where firms fall short of regulatory requirements and expectations. When this happens, we will consider an appropriate response. As part of our regulatory toolkit, we have a range of options available to us to raise standards of behaviour, deter misconduct and hold those who fail to meet the requirements to account.
We recently issued a formal warning to Craigs Investment Partners Limited (Craigs) for certain deficiencies within their AML/CFT compliance programme. It is important firms ensure their internal compliance programmes fully meet the regulatory requirements. We encourage firms to proactively engage with us where potential problems are identified, and take appropriate remedial steps to address the issue - as Craigs have done in this instance.
General Counsel, FMA
Yesterday we released the results of our annual survey into New Zealanders’ attitudes to financial markets. While confidence in New Zealand’s markets fell slightly in the last 12 months, confidence is higher among investors.
Some amendments to the FMC Act Regulations take effect. Read more
MIS manager licensing - plan to submit your application by the end of June. Read more
Annual AML/CFT reports - reporting entities supervised by the FMA are required to submit their annual AML/CFT report on their risk assessment and compliance programme through our online system between 1 July 2016 and 31 August 2016. Read more
To support businesses implementing the FMC Act, we have been consulting with industry on various legislative tools to ensure compliance requirements are balanced, reasonable and cost-effective.
Read our latest Regulatory Update: FMA legislative notices supporting the FMC Act regime that summarises the legislative notices we’ve issued, decisions we’ve made and matters we’re currently considering. More
Later this month we will carry out two targeted consultations on the following matters:
If you would like to be included in those consultations, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Licensing managed investment scheme (MIS) managers is a key priority for us but there is a danger that late applications will not be processed in time before the end of the transition period.
As some applications take longer than others, we strongly encourage all those who have yet to file their application to do so as soon as possible.
To ensure we can give you the right level of support, and you can achieve your licence by 1 December, talk to your supervisor and to us about your application.
Plan to submit before the end of June.
Check our tips on the MIS manager licence resources page of our website to make your application easier. More
Businesses providing property investment schemes or property syndication funds, or forestry managed investment schemes, also need to get their licence application in as soon as possible.
While standard licensing and governance obligations apply for property investment schemes, we have recently granted exemptions from some compliance obligations. Find more information about these exemptions.
For forestry managed investment schemes (MIS) we have just published a licensing guide to help businesses get started. The guide also explains when a scheme is not an MIS, and does not have to have a licensed manager.
We have also recently granted some exemptions for forestry MISs and their custodians from some compliance obligations. If you would like to find out more about these, see page 13 of our Regulatory Update: FMA legislative notices supporting the FMC Act regime or contact us at email@example.com More
Licensing guide for MIS managers of forestry schemes. More
We are still receiving emails from AFAs letting us know that their written adviser business statement (ABS) is up-to-date and current. While this is an important part of your standard conditions, sending us an email is no longer required. This is because we have included this confirmation in your AFA Information Return that you must complete each year. All you need to do is simply tick a box (question 40) and it’s done!
Investment scams can happen to anyone. They’re often very sophisticated and can be hard to tell apart from a genuine investment opportunity.
Certain investments put you at a much higher risk of becoming a victim of fraud. They’re often only available online, and are marketed as simple products or services with little or no risk. They also promise very high returns.
Below are two examples of complaints we often receive from people losing money.
Foreign exchange (forex) trading for profit is the buying and selling of foreign currencies through websites. More
Binary options are online tools that say you can make money from predicting the short-term movements of a share price, commodity, currency or an index. More
Our new e-services portal will go live a bit later than expected, in June/July. AFA renewals will be the first services available on the new portal. Additional services will be added once the portal is running.
We will publish guides for the new online processes soon – look out for further information in our June FMA Update.
Look out for the following publications we’ll be releasing before the end of June.
Auditor oversight and regulation plan 2016-2019
Accenture Finance & Risk blog - How financial firms can create value through complaints and feedback
Financial Conduct Authority - Smarter consumer communications discussion paper
Finance Magnates - SpotOption founder: Israel should follow major regulators on binary options
Harvard Business Review - The impact of the blockchain goes beyond financial services
Fortune Magazine - How LendingClub's scandal echoes the financial crisis