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Financial intermediaries task force appointed

8 November 2004 Media Statement

Financial intermediaries task force appointed

Commerce Minister Margaret Wilson today announced the members of the Task Force on Regulation of Financial Intermediaries.

The task force members are:

- Paul Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Insurance and Operations, TOWER New Zealand;
- Michael Webb (Chair), Barrister & former Securities Commission member;
- John Cobb, Head of Retail at Goldman Sachs JBWere;
- Angela Foulkes, Consultant specialising in financial and public sectors;
- Raewyn Fox, Executive Officer, NZ Zealand Federation of Family Budgeting Service;
- Ross Kent, General Manager, Alliance Capital Management;
- Michele Stanton, Managing Director, Glaister Ennor Asset Management Ltd; and
- Peter Mumford, Director, Ministry of Economic Development (Government Official)

The task force has been established to help raise the standard of financial services and examine the regulation of financial advisers. It is part of the government’s overall objective to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of New Zealand’s capital markets.

The task force will report to the government within six months.

“I was extremely pleased with the high level of interest shown by those from across the financial services industry," Margaret Wilson said.

“The collective background of the working group includes: banking, consumer interests, equities broking, financial planning, insurance, investment advice, major financial corporates, public policy and knowledge of other jurisdictions including Australia.

"I look forward to seeing the commencement of the Task Force’s work, which I expect to be very open and consultative.”

TASK FORCE ON THE REGULATION OF FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Objectives

The Task Force will consider and report on the regulation of financial intermediaries and suggest options for reform that will ensure quality financial information and advice is provided to the public, and assist New Zealanders to make the most of their savings.

In particular, the Task Force will:

- Profile the size, nature and composition of New Zealand’s financial intermediary industry and participants, including investors;

- Examine the current regulatory and self-regulatory environment for financial intermediaries and the provision of financial advice in New Zealand;

- Compare New Zealand’s current regulation with international norms and trends and the regulation of comparative overseas jurisdictions;

- Identify any issues with New Zealand’s current regime for the regulation of financial intermediaries, with regard to the government’s objective of ensuring quality financial information and advice is provided to the public, and assisting New Zealanders to make the most of their savings; and

- Formulate and evaluate possible options for the reform of regulation of financial intermediaries in New Zealand that address the identified issues.

The Task Force will be commissioned by mid-October 2004, and present a final report to the Minister of Commerce.

Process

In carrying out its functions, the Task Force will consult with stakeholders, including industry participants and organisations, consumer representatives, the Minister of Commerce, the Securities Commission, the Retirement Commission, the Ministry of Economic Development and other relevant government agencies and departments.

In undertaking its work, the Task Force should be informed and guided by the Regulatory Impact Analysis framework set out in the Ministry of Economic Development’s Regulatory Impact Statement Guidelines, and have regard to:

- The full range of models for regulation and levels of government intervention, from industry self regulation to full regulation. In this context, the Task Force should take into account the Policy Framework for Occupational Regulation administered by Ministry of Economic Development;

- The costs and benefits to industry participants, consumers and the economy generally associated with options for reform;

- New Zealand’s particular relationship with Australia as embodied in the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Co-Ordination of Business Law;

- The international dimension, including overseas perceptions of New Zealand’s securities markets;

- The current work of the savings product working group; and

- The government’s wider four-stage reform program for securities law and its primary aim of enhancing the integrity and effectiveness of, and confidence of investors in, New Zealand’s securities markets.

The Task Force should exclude direct consideration of taxation issues such as those associated with current review of taxation of investment income.

Composition

The Minister of Commerce will make up to six appointments to the Task Force. Members will be drawn from the industry, and will include consumer representation, a neutral Chair and a senior official of the Ministry of Economic Development.

ENDS

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