FISA Aim

The aim of this assessment is to examine the current state of the integrity systems of New Zealand’s financial system, and to motivate the development of new initiatives and new tools for preventing and combating corruption and for reinforcing a culture of integrity in a way that realises its benefits.

As the New Zealand economy has become more engaged with new sectors of business and a wider range of global partners, it has increasingly built relationships with countries that have higher levels of corruption.  This necessitates an explicit approach to preventing corruption in the financial system as a means of ensuring New Zealand’s culture of zero tolerance for corruption is maintained.

For prudential purposes, New Zealand financial organisations need to monitor risks that are inherently associated with the growing diversity of customers and the changing features of relationships with them. Evidence that financial organisations are maintaining high standards aimed at preventing corruption contributes to New Zealand’s current reputation for integrity, as a good country and as one of the best places to do business.

The focus of the FISA assessment is specifically on how effective financial organisations’ processes are in preventing corruption, maintaining strong integrity systems and carrying out the activities that realise the benefits of them.

Ultimately, it is the inter-relationship of individual financial organisations, policy-makers, regulators and monitoring oversight, including audit, risk management, ombudsmen, that ensure the system is resilient.  A key aspect of this resilience is customer trust based on informed engagement with the services they use.

The assessment framework is educative – it provides the financial system’s leaders, citizens and customers with information on the prevention of corruption, internal ethics and the features of strong integrity systems. It measures the degree of corruption risk and vulnerability in the financial system. It serves as a tool to identify where to concentrate efforts.

The design of the FISA assessment tool has been a collaborative process.

Evidence will be drawn from registered banks, other financial organisations (deposit takers), insurers and oversight institutions (regulators and supervisors).  Participants have been given an opportunity to comment during the development of the assessment methodology, as has the wider public.  The assessment framework has stage gates, allowing for consultation and feedback.  During the assessment, participants are given opportunities to comment on the draft report, including the “trial” scores, and to provide additional commentary if they desire. These assessments and the evidence behind the scoring is public.  The rationale for the assessment is to widen understanding and effect change where required.

The analysis of evidence collected will be subject to multiple levels of peer review (local and International) to minimise the risk of bias and inaccuracy in the responses and to provide clear reasoning behind any judgements that are made.