The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has filed High Court proceedings against ANZ.  This claim reflects the introduction of the Financial Markets Conduct Act, and has two causes of action.  First, the firm issued duplicate insurance policies to some customers which provided no additional benefits.  Second, ANZ also failed to cancel policies for ineligible customers.  In both instances, they charged premiums on these same policies.

Sam Stubbs, founder of KiwiSaver provider Simplicity, said that the FMA was unlikely to file proceedings unless it felt there was a strong case.  “It’s a classic example of poor bank culture and conduct over an extended period of time, exactly what the Reserve Bank and FMA investigated last year.”  He went on to say that this is a trust issue for many New Zealanders, who have looked to ANZ for insurance for decades, “We should be able to trust the ANZ.  Can we?  This brings, yet again, the issue of trust and our banks into the spotlight.”

Across the globe, financial sector regulators have been placing a premium on firms’ culture and conduct risk management capabilities.  For more on these trends, download Starling’s 2020 Compendium here.

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