The joint conduct and culture review by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) has been released and has identified weaknesses in bank processes, and banks are being challenged to lift their game and ensure the rights of customers are protected.
“We are not happy to hear that there are problems, but by identifying them we now have an opportunity to fix them,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi noted.
Dealing with the problems identified in the report is critical to ensure New Zealanders have confidence in their banking system, according to Minister of Finance Hon Grant Robertson.
“Any weaknesses in how banks manage the way they behave is a concern,” he explained. “This is not an end, rather a beginning to ensure banks deliver on the privilege of being licenced to operate in this country.”
Faafoi also highlighted the government would be taking on board the report’s recommendations on the regulatory environment for bank conduct and will determine if regulations need to change.
The New Zealand Bankers’ Association (NZBA), meanwhile, acknowledged the report and accepted all their recommendations.
“We are pleased the review found no evidence of widespread misconduct and culture issues across the industry here,” NZBA acting chief executive Antony Buick-Constable said. “The report represents an opportunity for the New Zealand banking industry to retain the confidence of our customers and ensure a solid foundation for banking in future.
“We are ready to take that opportunity,” he added.