find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
Australian FSR holds lessons for NZ

Australian FSR holds lessons for NZ

WITH REGULATORY changes to the NZ insurance industry imminent, insurance law expert Russell Adams delivered insights drawn from the Australian reform experience during a visit to NZ on 10…

WITH REGULATORY changes to the NZ insurance industry imminent, insurance law expert Russell Adams delivered insights drawn from the Australian reform experience during a visit to NZ on 10 March.

In an interview with Lawyers Weeklys sister publication NZ Lawyer, Adams, managing director of Phillips Fox’s insurance and risk management team, said the two main areas of recent regulatory reform in Australia were the introduction of a licensing regime for financial intermediaries and the tightening of disclosure requirements under the Financial Services Reform Act 2001 (FSRA). He described both changes as “significant and intense”.

In NZ, the Law Commission’s review of the Life Insurance Act, passed in 1908 and based on even older law, recommends that “the regulation of life insurance should be consistent with the regulation of other financial products”, but does not recommend an Australian-style licensing approach.

A taskforce has been established to examine the regulation of financial intermediaries. It has been charged with a review of the industry, identification of issues, and suggestions for change, which must pass a cost-benefit test. The taskforce will provide its recommendations in May.

All expert commentators are of the view that it remains to be seen whether NZ will follow the same regulatory and legislative reform path that has unfolded in Australia, Adams said, describing the Australian experience as “instructive” and “not without its challenges”.

“In an environment where the effects of legislative reform are still being understood and many major insurers continue to consolidate, a number of people in the insurance industry would say some of the reform and the regulatory requirements on financial intermediaries and service requirements now in place in Australia have gone too far,” Adams said.

While the Australian reforms were necessary, Adams said, they have been difficult to implement and most of the “pushback” around the reform process had arisen because of the complexity of the legislation and its requirements.

Many financial intermediaries, however, are now complaining of being “buried in a sea of paper due to all the procedures and requirements they have to ‘tick the box’ on,” Adams said. “This makes it difficult to do business in an efficient and effective way.”

Adams said Phillips Fox’s major general insurance clients, including AIG and Vero, had developed an interest in operating across the Tasman. He said they see “real benefits from an operational as well as from an information-sharing perspective in having a seamless existence for their trans-Tasman businesses, if not integrating them”.

Commenting on recent publicity of the move to a single trans-Tasman market economy, Adams observed that at the government and business levels, “there seems to be a real desire to get greater benefits out of the two countries operating more closely”.

Andrea Ruffell is editor of Lawyers Weeklys sister publication NZ Lawyer

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Australian FSR holds lessons for NZ
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...