Council of Financial Regulators updates its vision and membership

On 14 August 2019, the Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR), consisting of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), Financial Markets Authority, the Treasury, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, announced its new vision (Vision) and welcomed the Commerce Commission to the group.

The CoFR began in 2011 as a forum for agencies responsible for financial sector regulation.  In 2016, the group agreed to a regulatory charter, setting out how it operates its shared ownership of regulatory functions.  Its main objectives are to develop a collective view on longer-term strategic priorities for New Zealand’s financial system; identify and monitor important issues, risks and gaps in the financial system that may impede on a member’s regulatory objectives; and agree to collaborative responses to issues that require cross-agency involvement.

The CoFR’s announcement is available. Information about the CoFR’s memberships, objectives and governance, can be found online.

Who needs to read it?

The CoFR’s announcement is relevant to all industries regulated by the CoFR’s members, including but not limited to:

  • issuers of financial products (to retail or wholesale investors)
  • licensed market service providers
  • supervisors
  • registered banks
  • non-bank deposit takers
  • lenders
  • insurers
  • brokers; and
  • financial advisers.

The Vision

The Vision aims to contribute to maximising New Zealand’s sustainable economic wellbeing through responsive and coordinated financial system regulations, and allows for a longer-term view that more effectively recognises the specific responsibilities of each agency.

The RBNZ’s Governor, Adrian Orr, noted the Commerce Commission’s consumer credit focus as a welcome addition.

Our view

The Vision articulates an intention for even greater long-term collaboration.  We believe this will continue to lead to better regulatory outcomes for New Zealand’s financial sector. Its focus on maximising sustainable economic wellbeing suggests a greater emphasis on the financial sectors’ impact on both New Zealand’s environment and economy.  We expect this might lead to slightly different conversations between CoFR members and the industry in the future.

The Commerce Commission’s regulatory oversight, particularly consumer credit, fits well within the CoFR’s ambit.

Next steps

If you have any questions about the CoFR or its announcement, please contact one of our experts.

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