Pioneering another world first for New Zealand

The world’s first financial integrity system assessment

The 2019 New Zealand Finance Integrity System Assessment (FISA) is the first ever assessment of the integrity framework of any country’s financial system. It covers government and industry agencies with oversight and regulatory roles in the finance sector, and a wide range of financial organisations. This evidential assessment, including an online self-assessment questionnaire, covers the financial system.

FISA Objective

"Overall, there are weaknesses in the government and management of conduct risks, and significant gaps in the measurement and reporting of customer outcomee."
Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Financial Markets Authority review into the major trading banks.

FISA is designed to gain an objective and independent view of the integrity of a country’s financial system. The FISA will provide customers, citizens, communities, civil society organisations, government and businesses detailed information about the way that the financial system conducts itself. It identifies and seeks to prevent poor conduct through reinforcing core ethical values and culture which contribute to strengthening the integrity systems which prevent corruption.

FISA Audience

It is addressed to all deposit-taking organisations, insurance companies and their regulators. Financial organisations know that public and international trust is vital for New Zealand’s future and that corrupt behaviour, corruption scandals, collusion, bribery and lack of transparency, damage that trust.

FISA is not a review. It is a pro-active tool aimed at self-assessment and at widening the discussion about the priorities for New Zealand to strengthen its integrity systems, the best way of protecting against corruption, whether from internal or external sources.

Armed with this knowledge, citizens and customers can both identify good conduct and push for improvement. At the same time, financial organisations can choose to set clear priorities to develop their activities aimed at preventing corruption while seeking the additional returns that come when they adopt a pro-active role to promote their integrity.

Why the time is now

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and Financial Market Authority (FMA) review into Banks, November 2018, found that “Overall, there are weaknesses in the governance and management of conduct risks, and significant gaps in the measurement and reporting of customer outcomes”. They noted that there was “significant variation in the maturity of banks’ approaches to identifying, managing and remediating conduct risks and issues”, with some banks described as “reactive at best, and complacent at worst”.

Their review into the Insurance sector was even more concerning, finding “extensive weaknesses in life insurers’ systems and controls ….. governance and management of conduct risks is weak and there is a lack of focus on good customer outcomes.” The report urged Insurers to act urgently as the industry is vulnerable to misconduct and escalation of issues, additionally noting there were instances of poor conduct and existing examples of potential misconduct (ie breaches of the law).

The aim of the FISA assessment is to:

DOWNLOAD FISA METHODOLOGY DOCUMENT

FISA BROCHURE (.pdf)

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