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FMA RBNZ Life Insurer Conduct and Culture Review January 2019

Click here to view the full ‘FMA RBNZ Life Insurer Conduct and Culture Review January 2019’ document.


The overall objective of this review was to understand whether there are widespread conduct and culture issues present in life insurers in New Zealand, and to understand how life insurers identify and remediate issues.

The conduct of life insurers directly affects customers, regardless of whether the insurers sell insurance directly or through other parties. High standards of conduct support the fair, sound, efficient and transparent provision of insurance, and confident participation in the insurance market by insurers, intermediaries and customers. Poor conduct is a contributing factor to poor customer outcomes, and can result in a loss of trust and confidence in the life insurance industry.

One of the key drivers of conduct is culture. Culture influences how managers and staff behave on a daily basis. An effective organisational culture is one that consistently puts the customer at the centre of decision-making, product design, sales, advice and claims processes, and all day-to-day activities.


All insurers need to make substantial improvements to how they identify, manage, remediate and report on conduct risks and issues, to deliver consistently good customer outcomes. Insurers need to take our recommendations seriously, and proactively work to achieve maturity in this area. The following recommendations apply to all insurers and should form the basis of their plans.

The role of boards

Oversight of intermediaries

Product design, training and support

Policies and processes

Identification and remediation of issues