News in brief: Biggest fears of NZ bankers

by Maya Breen09 Dec 2015
5 biggest fears of NZ bankers
Although New Zealand’s banking industry has been revealed the most optimistic globally, it still has its fears and a new report by PwC has revealed the top five.

PwC’s banking and capital markets Leader Sam Shuttleworth says, “This optimistic outlook is in part down to the Kiwi ‘can do’ psyche, coupled with the lower levels in complexity of New Zealand’s banking products and continued focus on regulation and risk management.”

Technology risk, social media, macro-economic environment, conduct practices and pricing of risk are the banks’ five greatest fears, according to PwC’s Banking Banana Skins 2015: Recovery under threat report. 

“It’s not surprising that for New Zealand banks these technology-related risks have risen to the top, with social media’s power to damage reputations with or without sound evidence coupled with jumps both locally and globally, in the risk of criminality,” says Shuttleworth. 

“As the industry increasingly embraces technology and moves towards greater digitisation, focus on how to better manage these risks has resulted from concerns about the vulnerability of outdated systems to cyber crime and outages.”

“Wake up call and warning bells” for advisers 
Strategi has said the MBIE Options Paper should “give a huge wake up call to all RFAs and sound warning bells for QFE advisers”, as there is no doubt that the paper points to increased requirements for these advisers, it noted in its latest newsletter today.

Strategi is encouraging all advisers to read the Options Paper in full.

“Education and competency requirements for advisers will increase – only the when and how remains uncertain. Strategi strongly recommends that advisers proactively assess their personal situation and take action now to ensure they can meet the inevitable increased training and CPD obligations.”

House prices up, sales numbers down in Auckland
Auckland house prices are still increasing with the average sales price up on those from October by 4.2 percent to $876,075 and the median price up by 1.9 percent to $795,000, according to a November report by Barfoot & Thompson.

“You have to go back 20 months to March 2014 to find a bigger monthly increase in the average price,” said Barfoot & Thompson director Kiri Barfoot.

“For the past 7 months, monthly increases have been modest, but last month buyers were as committed as ever to meeting vendor expectations.

Although prices continue to rise in spite of the Reserve Bank’s measures to cool them, there has been a noticeable drop in market activity the report says.

NZ dollar holds steady ahead of cash rate decision
The New Zealand dollar has seen little change even as other currencies fell, as traders await the Reserve Bank decision on interest rates tomorrow. 

The kiwi was little changed at 66.32 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 66.33 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 72.21 from 72.15 yesterday, BusinessDesk reports.

"The one commodity that has escaped the rout is the kiwi," Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management in New York, said in a note. "The New Zealand dollar was down only slightly in Asian and European trade and vastly outperformed the other antipodeans."

In a poll by Reuters, some 21 of 24 economists expect the Reserve Bank to cut the benchmark rate by a quarter point to 2.5 percent. 

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