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Transparency International New Zealand’s (TINZ) 2017 New Zealand Finance Integrity System Assessment (FISA) is the first ever review of the integrity systems of any country's financial system. It covers the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), the Commerce Commission, the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), Trustee Corporations, the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the Banking Ombudsman, the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman, Financial Services Complaints Limited and Financial Disputes Limited, registered banks, non-bank deposit-takers, co-operatives, KiwiSaver providers, and the payments system.
The financial system has an impact on all New Zealanders. Amongst other things, financial services organisations such as registered banks, financial services and money co-ops, play a key role in looking after your deposits. TINZ has had focused comments from those organisations that will be assessed. It wants to hear from those who use the financial system to be sure that the questions being assessed reflect how public trust in the system is maintained.
View the draft assessment for consultation as of 6 February 2017. Please sign up to participate in the consultation by completing the form on the right. Alternatively download the FISA survey document file and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org with tracked changes.
TINZ’s formative consultation is underway on the form of its proposed survey on the integrity of the financial system, namely the 2017 New Zealand Financial Integrity System Assessment (FISA). The aim is to integrate feedback from readers and others by the end of April into a final assessment package. Then, a survey of all the individual financial organisations that make up the financial system is planned. With the extension of the consultation phase, it will commence from 1 July 2017.
The assessment of the finance system as a whole begins 1 August 2017.
FISA is intended to offer customers, citizens, communities, civil society organisations and businesses detailed information about the way in which the financial system prevents corruption, reinforces core ethical values and strengthens integrity systems. Equipped with this knowledge, citizens and customers can both identify good performance and push for improvement. At the same time, financial institutions can choose to set out clear priorities to develop their activities aimed at preventing corruption while seeking the additional returns that come when organisations adopt a pro-active role to promote their integrity.
Through these additional returns, New Zealand financial institutions will be able to continuously innovate, upgrade their services and engage with international capital markets to bring down development-capital interest rates for New Zealand household and business borrowers. Financial institutions know that public trust is important and that corruption scandals, collusion, corrupt behaviour and a lack of transparency damage that trust.
The global financial crisis was a dramatic event that impacted strongly on economic and individual well-being – many financial institutions and organisations were found wanting. Yet afterwards, internationally, while there was change to their structures, many of the features that support unethical behaviour still exist. It may take the disruption of crypto-currency trading, peer-to-peer lending, crowd funding platforms and other technologies before the international system finally wakes up. Of course, it is also important to ensure these new electronic financial systems are built on strong integrity principles.
The FISA formative consultation is in the spirit of demonstrating how consultation can work when people are given the time to provide feedback while the approach is being developed. Two work-in-progress consultation drafts have been distributed to the TINZ database – one in November 2016 and an updated version in February. The first page of the latter sets out specific questions to help shape your feedback. DO TAKE A MOMENT NOW TO DOWNLOAD A COPY AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK. You are welcome to comment in detail by sending back a word version of the draft with tracked changes. Even single comments about what is good and what could be better for financial system integrity provide useful insights.
Note too that the focus of the assessment is the prevention of bribery and corruption in the financial system through an ethical, values-based culture (the integrity system) and then realising the benefits through process and strategic direction.
This initiative is one where yet again, New Zealand is in a position to show the way forward. Its position will be stronger the greater the engagement of our readers in shaping the assessment approach.