New vision for Council of Financial Regulators

The Council of Financial Regulators (CoFR) has announced a new vision for New Zealand’s economic wellbeing and has welcomed the addition of the Commerce Commission to the forum.

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

CoFR works to identify and respond to issues of cross-agency relevance. CoFR’s members are the Reserve Bank, Financial Markets Authority, the Treasury, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and now the Commerce Commission. Responsibility for chairing CoFR alternates between the Reserve Bank Governor and the FMA Chief Executive.

The Reserve Bank’s Governor, Adrian Orr, said: “We recognise our responsibility for joint stewardship (te hunga tiaki) of a healthy and efficient financial system that benefits all New Zealanders.”

The Financial Markets Authority’s Chief Executive, Rob Everett, said: “The Council was instrumental in launching the recent conduct and culture review of New Zealand’s banks and life insurers. This illustrated the importance and benefits of regulators working together to tackle issues that span across the financial markets’ regulatory system. Ensuring a coordinated response to such issues will help to build confidence in the regulation of New Zealand’s financial markets.”

Mr Orr says, “Bringing the Commerce Commission on board with its consumer credit focus is a welcomed addition to this forum.”

CoFR meets quarterly to discuss financial markets regulatory issues, risks and priorities, and is attended by the heads of each agency. The existence of CoFR does not derogate from the existing statutory rights and responsibilities of the respective authorities. The most recent meeting occurred yesterday.

Its 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 on collaborative responses to issues that require cross-agency involvement and put in place appropriate mechanisms to deliver them.

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