Suncorp Group releases financial results, and other news

Suncorp’s FY22 results, by the numbers, for the 12 months to 30 June 2022:

 

Suncorp Group

Net profit after tax: AU$681 million

Decline in profit after tax from FY21: 34.1%

Cash earnings: AU$673 million

Decline in cash earning from FY21: 36.7%

Net loss from investment market volatility: AU$190 million

Natural hazard claims: 130,000

Fully franked ordinary dividends FY22: 40c per share

 

Suncorp New Zealand

Net profit after tax: NZ$165 million

Decline in profit after tax from FY21: 23.3%

Net incurred claims: NZ$1 billion

Net investment loss due to rising bond yields and equity market volatility: NZ$30 million

Gross written premium growth from FY21: 14.1%

Women in senior leadership positions: 50%

ANZIIF awards won: 5

 

Asteron Life

Underlying profit after tax: NZ$38 million

Reported profit after tax: NZ$15 million

New business: NZ$18 million

Claims acceptance rate: 95%

Jimmy Higgins, Suncorp NZ Chief Executive, spoke of the challenges they are facing

‘“The current environment presents challenges from economic factors and New Zealand’s health system constraints, together with emerging risks around potential impacts of long COVID, and market disruption from the proposed New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme.”

“On the scheme, it is critical for us to think about the role advisers play in financial advice and literacy; equally important is ensuring customers have access to quality case management and rehabilitation services that are essential for good customer outcomes, especially for longer duration claims. Asteron is monitoring these risks and is well placed to meet these challenges.”

Executive General Manager Life Grant Willis says it was a challenging year for Asteron Life customers, advisers, and the Asteron team.

“Due to a combination of Covid-19 restrictions and business disruptions from ongoing regulatory and licensing changes, our advisers experienced a challenging environment but continually adapted to assist customers while in lockdown and when other restrictions were in place,” says Willis.

More daily news:

Cigna increasing premium rates on life, trauma and disability cover across some products from 9 September

Partners Life release video to help advisors navigate price rejection by clients

Cigna admits to making false and/or misleading representations over its communication of inflation adjustments to insurance cover

FANZ takes part in NZ's money week campaign

FMA talks about what COFI Amendment Act regulations will cover

ASB financial results released: profits for year to June 30 $1.47 billion


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

8 Aug 2022 – Statutes Amendment Bill, containing amendments to the AML/CFT Act and Privacy Act among others, reported back to Parliament from the Select Committee. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_118346/statutes-amendment-bill

9 Aug 2022 – RBNZ commenced a six week consultation seeking feedback on its issues paper titled “Improving Māori Access to Capital”. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/hub/news/2022/08/feedback-sought-on-improving-maori-access-to-capital


The gender pay gap, and other news

David McLean, chairman of Kiwirail and former Chief Executive of Westpac New Zealand writes about how at Westpac he was shocked to find they still had a gender pay gap despite the work done towards pay equity.

I was gob-smacked to discover it was 30.3%. That meant that the median man at Westpac was paid nearly a third more than the median woman.

…an organisation can have pay equity at every level of the organisation (like ours did) – meaning men and the women in each level are paid the same - but still have a gender pay gap. Although we had pay equity, the gender pay gap was caused by more women working in lower-paid roles (e.g. in call centres and branches) and more men in higher paid roles (e.g. middle management, IT, business banking).

It told us employment in the banking industry has traditionally been skewed towards women in lower-paid jobs and men in higher-paid roles. When if a frontline service role in banking is advertised, far more women than men applied, and in several specialised areas such as IT, the opposite was true.

This meant strategies to close the gap might involve things like making a greater effort to recruit women into traditionally male dominated jobs types and bringing more women through to more senior roles. That meant addressing things that might tend to derail a woman’s career in the important middle years such as needing to take parental leave or requiring flexible working hours.

There are also wider issues that one employer can’t solve on its own, such as not enough girls studying STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). Several big employers are trying to address this through activities such as hosting girl’s schools at open days in their IT or engineering departments, creating targeted internships, and sponsoring organisations trying to encourage women into careers like software engineering.

Stats NZ announced that as of the June 2021 quarter, the gender pay gap in New Zealand overall was 9.1%, remaining relatively flat since 2017. But looking at the Financial and Insurance Services industry as a whole, the gender pay gap was a whopping 31%.

Chatswood Consulting reached out to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to find out stats on how many men and women are registered Financial Advisers and a spokesperson said “There are 11,011 registered Financial Advisers on the FSPR – 42% are female vs 58% are male. The FMA is a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion in the financial sector, noting that this is not just a matter of gender.”

When contacted, Financial Advice New Zealand (FANZ) said their split is 27% female to 73% male. FANZ are currently considering how to influence more people to follow a career into the financial advice world.

Statistics NZ have information to help you measure if there is a gender pay gap in your organisation – organisation-wide, by-level or on a like-for-like jobs basis.

Gender pay gaps are not limited to New Zealand, nor are we the only country implementing measures to improve equality.

In the UK the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a policy statement confirming that listed firms are required to report info and disclose compliance with sector-wide diversity targets for representation of women and people from minority ethnic backgrounds from 1 April 2022.

The Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA) published a report last year on the gender divide in the financial services industry. FINSEA used a combination of information from The Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), which measures gender equality in non-public sector employers that employ 100 people or more and surveys of professionals in the industry. The WGEA data showed that women in financial services were well represented, making up 54.3% of the workforce, but under-represented in higher level positions, making up only 10.3% of CEOs, 30.8% of key management personnel and 27% of directors. FINSIA found the full-time gender pay gap was 27.5%. In the Insurance industry, WGEA found the gender pay gap to be 23.2%.

More daily news:

FMA’s ‘Hit Submit’ FAP licence application programme online sessions start today

ANZ appoints Jason Murray as Country Head of Cook Islands


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

4 Aug 2022 – Consumer Protection website released the results of round three of the long-term survey commenced in March 2021 to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on consumers over time. https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/news-and-media/consumer-challenges-grow-amid-covid-19-pressures/

8 Aug 2022 - A reminder that the start of Sorted Money Week is this week: https://retirement.govt.nz/financial-capability/sorted/sorted-money-week/


Great to see you all again

It was great to do the Auckland central Quotemonster session earlier this week at the Remuera Golf Club and get some in person chats with our users again.

We had a good turn out of 70 people and the feedback was great to hear. In the session we covered a number of recent enhancements made to our service over the last year and also what we have in the pipeline for the near future. We were thrown some great questions during the Q&A session too!

We still have nine towns to visit over the next few weeks so if you haven't registered yet you can do so here.

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Australia: Westpac Life sale to TAL-Dai-ichi completed

The ASX website confirms completion of the sale of Westpac Life Australia to TAL-Dai-ichi and the impact of that on Westpac's accounts. They book a significant loss on the sale but will receive revenue from the referral relationship and get a bump in tier one capital from the cash from the sale. https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20220801/pdf/45cdvfl9htkrz6.pdf


FMA releases survey about NZer’s experience with the financial sector, and other news

The FMA’s inaugural Consumer Experience with the Financial Sector Survey asked kiwi’s about their financial situation, what financial products they own and their experiences with and attitudes towards providers.

One of the key findings is that a significant proportion of people aren’t comfortable engaging with financial service providers or identifying which financial products would suit their needs.

….one-third of people (31%) feel nervous about speaking to financial services providers and a quarter (26%) find it difficult to identify financial products that are suitable.

22% agreed they don’t understand the financial products they have and whether they got a good deal.

While satisfaction with providers is reasonably high, trust in the sector is much lower.

Consumers are generally content with their financial service providers, with 77% of DIY investing platform customers satisfied, followed by bank customers (71%) and insurance company customers (70%). The satisfaction rate of KiwiSaver provider and fund manager customers was lower at 61%.

Trust scores were lower than satisfaction scores, with 67% of consumers trusting banks and only 48% of consumers trusting insurance companies.

Of the five per cent of New Zealanders who have made a complaint about a financial services provider, just over half (56%) felt it was resolved to their satisfaction.

While 76% of respondents have savings accounts, and 82% have at least one investment product, only 32% have life insurance and only 27% have health insurance. 10% of people surveyed were considering taking up health insurance in the next 12 months, and 8% were considering taking up life insurance in the next 12 months.

The top factors influencing New Zealanders’ choice of insurance products include:

value for money (35%), low prices (28%), additional benefits offered such as extra cover (20%), having good information available on the provider’s website (18%) and recommendation from friends or family (18%).

Some barriers to buying insurance products include cost (35%), a lack of experience with insurance (17%), a lack of trust in the insurance sector (15%), and a belief that insurers don’t have their customers’ best interests at heart (13%). Only 12% of respondents without insurance prefer to self-insure while 15% of respondents think they don’t need insurance.

Almost half (49%) of those surveyed had made a claim on their health insurance in the past two years.

The survey breaks down how consumers buy insurance products

How insurance products were initially bought or opened

New Zealanders were more likely to trust automated digital tools to find insurance products (40%) than for financial or investment advice.

The survey highlights the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic and inflation have had on New Zealander’s financial goals.

14% of New Zealanders have experienced a major worsening in their household financial situation in the past two years, with reduced income as a major contributor…. 63% of people say inflation is increasing faster than their ability to save.

….21% feel secure in their financial position, while 27% are beginning to make progress, 37% are not making much progress and 15% feel insecure.

We will do a more in-depth analysis in the upcoming Quarterly Life and Health Report. If you would like a demo of any Chatswood Consulting subscription services, please get in touch with Kelly Pulham on 021 311 660 or email kelly.pulham@chatswood.co.nz

More daily news:

FSC appoints Renato Mota and Alison Telfer to board

FSC says pandemic has made kiwis more aware of value of health insurance

FMA survey highlights most kiwis don't know what to do when treated unfairly by financial service providers

BNZ launches BNZ Pay, a mobile app for retailers that transforms android devices into contactless payment terminals

Sorted money week runs 8 - 14 August


Quality Product Research – Trauma: proposed rating for Benefit Payment

Introduction

We were recently challenged by an adviser on how the 90 day stand down wordings differ between insurers. There are providers who commence the stand-down period from the receipt of application while some commence this period from policy inception. 

Please find our proposed sub-items below.

Proposed sub-items

Payment

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Manager, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Legal and regulatory update for the financial services sector

2 Aug 2022 – Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs released the final report into the investigation of the December 2021 changes under the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 and announced further changes to be made to CCCFA Regulations to improve safe access to credit, with the changes expected to come into effect by March 2023. MBIE will be consulting on an exposure draft of the changes in late September.

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/further-changes-cccfa-regulations-will-improve-safe-access-credit

https://www.mbie.govt.nz/business-and-employment/consumer-protection/review-of-consumer-credit-law/initial-implementation-review-of-the-2021-cccfa-changes/

2 Aug 2022 - ASIC announced it is extending for a further 12 months the transitional relief for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence when providing financial services to Australian wholesale clients. https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-centre/find-a-media-release/2022-releases/22-203mr-asic-extends-transitional-relief-for-foreign-financial-services-providers/

2 Aug 2022 – Data and Statistics Bill parliamentary third reading completed.

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/data-and-statistics-bill-passes-its-third-reading

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_116197/data-and-statistics-bill

3 Aug 2022 – NZX announced its intention to establish a corporate governance institute as a centre of excellence for corporate governance in New Zealand’s listed companies. https://www.nzx.com/announcements/396369

4 Aug 2022 - the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) - Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko media releases a new research project. The study includes areas on the mindset and motivations of consumers as they manage their money and deal with financial services firms. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/survey-experiences-financial-sector-fair-treatment/


Advisers: getting paid for what you do - beating the mismatches between your costs and your revenue

There are some mismatches between what advisers get paid and what they do for clients. While it is true that once in a while a gift of a job is easy and the commission is high, more frequently the opposite occurs: work is done and not paid for. A commission-only adviser loses on every client that takes advice but does not proceed to buy a product on which commission is payable. At some point in the past, back before advisers really were giving financial advice, this was bearable for the better salespeople. If you have a good enough ratio of sales to non-sales, then it works. But today, when giving extensive financial advice upfront, the losses are necessarily much higher than they used to be.

The modern adviser is collecting a detailed fact-find, researching price, products, and underwriting, and then preparing a detailed plan. They have to, it's in the code. The time taken for this increased work is considerable. This is no mere brush off by the client. The adviser may have spent six to a dozen hours on the process up to the point when they are told the client will not proceed with any new business.

Our recent adviser remuneration survey examines this mismatch, and some of the possible solutions for the problem. Find out more about it in the e-book at this link this Download Adviser business revenue strategy v9.

We provide a lot of support for advisers wishing to explore how to implement new remuneration models in their business. You can start with the e-book and then schedule a meeting with us to talk about the steps necessary to reduce costs and increase revenue associated with different types of advice service.

This is one of the problems I was privileged to talk about with advisers at Fidelity Life's recent Engage conference in Auckland. It was fantastic to be back in a room full of advisers and to be part of some of the great conversations afterwards as we debated how to ensure greater resilience in revenue strategy for advice businesses of all sorts of different kinds.

IMG_7854

 

 


Fidelity Life introduces new cancer support programme and new sponsorships, and other news

Fidelity Life is rolling out additional help for customers living with cancer. They have entered into an exclusive agreement with digital oncology and telehealth firms CancerAid and Teladoc Health.

Launching in October 2022, Cancer companion will initially be available to Fidelity Life Trauma cover customers who have lodged a cancer claim.

Cancer companion will consist of three main components:

Cancer Coach: One-on-one virtual support programme from a qualified CancerAid coach, who’s there to listen, help track and manage symptoms and provide evidence-based techniques to improve lifestyle factors such as sleep, diet, and exercise, unique to each person and their condition.

Second Medical Opinion: Access to Teladoc Health’s world-leading oncologists for a specialised expert opinion, including retesting of any pathology, and providing confidence and clarity on treatment pathways.

Mental Health Support: Fast, confidential, virtual at-home access to therapy through Teladoc Health’s network of New Zealand-registered mental health professionals.

Cancer companion 1

Fidelity Life have also announced sponsorships of two local not-for-profit organisations, Outward Bound and Bellyful. The charities were chosen as they align with Fidelity Life’s brand and purpose in making a tangible difference to New Zealanders.

Outward Bound helps people realise their potential through learned experiences of challenge, success and self-reflection, commonly utilising the outdoors and its elements to teach key life skills.

Fidelity Life’s sponsorship of Outward Bound features scholarships to enable 20 diverse young New Zealanders to complete a 21-day course at Anakiwa per year. They’ll develop lifelong skills to give back to their communities.

Separately, each year Fidelity Life will offer a group of advisers the opportunity to realise their potential by supporting them on a 5-day Outward Bound Professional course.

Bellyful is a growing, nationwide volunteer-driven charity, which nourishes and connects communities by cooking and delivering free meals to families with babies or young children who need support.

Fidelity Life’s sponsorship will help scale and expand its operations to reach more families with young children who need support. This includes hosting Cookathons and food drives to help source ingredients and prepare meals, as well as tapping into Fidelity Life’s networks to promote and increase awareness of Bellyful.

More daily news:

nib offers new employee benefits

Stephanie Wyatt encourages women and young people to join insurance industry

How did we do in Covid-19 predictions?

FSC 'Money & You: Investing in volatile times' webinar 9 August

ANZ & BNZ banking apps hit by outages as customers rush to check on cost-of living payments

Nutrition experts call for people to eat 30 different plant foods a week


Quotemonster roadshows: Auckland Central

A big thank you to everyone who attended our Auckland roadshow in Remuera Golf Club. We had a wonderful time seeing everyone face to face and all your feedback is greatly appreciated.

There are 10 more locations we're travelling to in the next few weeks and you can register for a session by clicking here :)

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Auckland 3


Quality Product Research – Trauma: proposed rating for Loss of Independence

Introduction

To tackle the definition updates across insurers for Loss of Independence, we have recently reviewed this item.

Please find our proposed rating below.

Proposed sub-items

LOI

*We have used the female incidence score for the rating above. Male incidence for Loss of Independence is 0.36%

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Manager, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


FSC’s declaration to grow women’s financial wellbeing, and other news

The FSC have announced the It Starts With Action Summit Declaration in a bid to lead change for women’s financial confidence and wellbeing in New Zealand. FSC research recently found that 80% of kiwi women rated their financial wellbeing as moderate to very low, a statistic they hope to improve.

It Starts With Action Summit Declaration

The FSC and its members will:

1. Establish a national industry working group to lead the change in women’s financial wellbeing.

2. Deliver ongoing consumer communications and resources in collaboration with our members and the sector to help Kiwis:

    a. make informed financial decisions

    b. protect what matters

    c. navigate healthy financial relationships.

3. Continue to support financial literacy in schools.

4. Develop a policy platform to enhance retirement outcomes for wāhine.

The It Starts With Action campaign helped guide and shape the debate around women’s financial wellbeing and identified some key gaps and opportunities, including.

The gender retirement gap and the role of KiwiSaver.

The role of financial capability at home, at school and at work.

The role of protecting what matters and identifying risks.

Over the campaign course there were more than 70 activities and events and the campaign reached 1.6 million New Zealanders.

More daily news:

Economist says 60% of kiwis’ cost of living payment already eaten up by inflation

ASB’s SME research finds 76% of businesses expect inflation to lift operational expenses; 42% plan to raise their prices

Resolution Life Chief Executive Megan Beer moves to Resolution Life Group; Tim Tez to replace her next year

AIA appoints Ben McQuay Strategic Accounts Manager

Childhood vaccination coverage rates fall, prompting fears of measles outbreak

Mental health staff overloaded; Health Minister announces opt-in accreditation pathway for counsellors


Smokefree amendment bill could improve life expectancy, and other news

The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Smoked Tobacco) Amendment Bill has passed its first reading this week. The bill will greatly reduce the number of retailers able to sell smoked tobacco products; it aims to prevent young people from ever taking up smoking by banning sale to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009; and will make smoked tobacco products less appealing and addictive (by denicotising them).

Modelling by the University of Otago’s ASPIRE 2025 Research Centre found the bill could significantly reduce Māori/non-Māori health inequalities.

The research found that if the bill was passed the death gap, for 45+ year olds, was reduced by a staggering 22.9% for Māori females compared to non-Māori females, and a still very large 9.6% for males.

The numbers of people who die in NZ from smoking related illnesses is staggering.

Figures from the Ministry of Health show around 5000 people die each year in New Zealand because of smoking or second-hand smoke exposure. That’s 13 people a day.

Denicotisation is a powerful way to make tobacco products non-addictive.

Research studies show people who use denicotinised cigarettes smoke less, are exposed to fewer toxins, and are more likely to quit and become smokefree. Denicotinised cigarettes will mean young people who experiment with smoking are much less likely to become addicted to nicotine.

Reducing the number of retailers selling tobacco will make tobacco more difficult to obtain, especially in disadvantaged communities which have the highest concentration of tobacco retailers.

More daily news:

Survey finds social media and family/friends are most common sources of investing advice for young NZ adults

Planned care waitlists are growing; number of people waiting more than four months to access treatment had trebled since February 2020

FMA review of managed funds finds retail investors find it difficult to make informed decisions about ethical investing

Kiwis Count survey shows ongoing stability in trust in the public sector brand and experience of trust in the public sector

FSC announces Lockton New Zealand and Russell McVeagh are new members

Saxon Connor questions whether we need a better system for rationing healthcare

Study investigates how alcohol affects our long-term aging process

National calls for free meningococcal vaccines


Quality Product Research – Medical: proposed rating for Physiotherapist

Introduction

To begin we have renamed this item from Physiotherapist to Physiotherapy.

Please find our proposed sub-items below.

Proposed sub-items

Physio 22Please note the numbers displayed on Quotemonster are rounded – AIA/ASB is rounded to 0.03 and Unimed 0.04.

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Manager, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Eric Frykberg looks at reasons why advisers are delaying FAP applications, and other news

Frykberg writes in Good Returns about why many advisers have not started the process towards full licencing – and the reasons vary widely.

Indecision on whether to join up with large adviser groups or remain independent ...

… lack of awareness of the rules

….the intention of some older advisers to use the new obligations as a cue for retirement.

….uncertainty about which way the individual adviser should go.

…effectively working up to the transition date and they then intend to exit the industry.

….sector of the adviser industry that was “fundamentally ignorant".

….regulation fatigue, especially in a post-CCCFA world.

….. some advisers find that a heavy workload is taking up all the hours in the day, so licensing tends to get put off til tomorrow.

With the target date of 30 September for applications to be submitted, the FMA is concerned about the number of advisers who haven’t applied yet and are intensifying efforts to reach the advisor community and help advisors get their applications in. They have launched free online ‘Hit Submit’ sessions to help advisors through the FAP application process. They’ve also produced an 8 step action plan laying out what you need to do to apply.

More daily news:

Today is World Hepatitis Day

ANZIIF ‘NZ Cyber Market Insights’ webinar 10 August

RBNZ public Monetary Policy Remit review process underway

ACC & MBIE recruiting for permanent employees for Income Insurance Scheme

Melanie Purdey cautions advisors seeking to bypass level 5 exam it could be harder than you think

Romil Ghelani talked through FMA's approach to changes introduced by FSLAA

Surgeries could be disrupted when anaesthetic technicians strike

Fidelity Life appoints Chris Marston-Fergusson Appointed Actuary (AA); welcomes Simona Turin as director on the board


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

28 July 2022 - The FMA released a report following a review of 14 KiwiSaver and other managed funds to establish how well they are applying the FMA’s integrated financial product (IFP) guidance. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-review-of-ethical-investing-claims-in-managed-funds/

28 July 2022 – NZ Police Financial Intelligence Unit released the May/June 2022 Suspicious Transactions Report. https://www.police.govt.nz/advice-services/businesses-and-organisations/nz-financial-intelligence-unit-fiu/fiu-reports

26 July 2022 - Digital Identity Services Trust Framework Bill second reading completed in Parliament. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_116015/digital-identity-services-trust-framework-bill

26 July 2022 – RBNZ acknowledged receipt of a report titled “How Central Bank Mistakes after 2019 led to Inflation” and advised that the report will be considered as part of its current public Monetary Policy Remit review process. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/hub/news/2022/07/monetary-policy-review

27 July 2022 – NZX released a consultation reviewing its capital raising and listing settings to ensure that current settings provide adequate shareholder protections and to seek market feedback on whether these settings should be further developed given recent transaction activity and trends in international markets. Submissions close on 2 Sept 2022. https://www.nzx.com/regulation/nzx-rules-guidance/consultation