The Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) has announced its work priorities for the coming year.
The work programme includes seven separate work streams, each led by one of the CoFR agencies, but involving all the members (alongside other government agencies as necessary) in a coordinated effort to tackle issues that reach across the financial system.
The CoFR work streams are as follows:
- Climate change (led by Reserve Bank of New Zealand) – to facilitate a smooth transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy, while supporting the soundness and efficiency of the financial system.
- Financial Inclusion and Consumer Engagement (led by Commerce Commission) – to coordinate the work of CoFR members to improve consumers’ access to, and understanding of, financial services, particularly in hard-to-reach communities.
- Conduct and governance (led by FMA) – to develop coordination and joint action on governance and conduct issues, and to ensure that banks and insurers maintain progress in these areas.
- FinTech (led by FMA) – to ensure the regulatory system facilitates innovation that improves outcomes for customers and financial system participants.
- Residential Property insurance (led by the Treasury) – to support resilience, affordability and consumer information in the residential insurance market, while managing costs and risks to the Government.
- Credit unions (led by Reserve Bank) – to work together on the health and sustainability of the credit union sector.
- Review of the Regulatory System Charter (led by MBIE) – to promote active stewardship of the financial markets regulatory system, taking into account proposed changes to the responsibilities of the different CoFR agencies.
Responsibility for chairing CoFR alternates between the Reserve Bank Governor and the FMA Chief Executive.
The Reserve Bank’s Governor, Adrian Orr, said: “I am pleased to set out this ambitious work programme for the Council of Financial Regulators. This shows that different agencies with different responsibilities can work together to deliver real benefits to consumers of the financial services sector.”
The Financial Markets Authority’s Chief Executive, Rob Everett, said: “These work streams will focus CoFR agencies’ coordination efforts over the coming years. The result will be agencies collaborating where this adds value and ensuring clarity about roles and responsibilities for the financial system.”
About the Council of Financial Regulators
The Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) has been operating since 2011 as a forum for agencies with responsibility for financial sector regulation. CoFR is comprised of the Reserve Bank, Financial Markets Authority, the Treasury, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and the Commerce Commission.
CoFR’s main objectives are to:
- Develop a collective view on longer-term strategic priorities for the financial system;
- Identify and monitor important issues, risks and gaps in the financial system that may impinge upon achievement of member agencies’ regulatory objectives;
- Agree collaborative responses to issues that require cross-agency involvement and put in place appropriate mechanisms to deliver them.
CoFR formally meets quarterly to discuss financial markets regulatory issues, risks and priorities. It comprises senior leaders from each agency and from time to time, CoFR may invite representation from other regulatory agencies and public authorities, as required.