FSF Profile

Who are we

  • the major New Zealand grouping of non-bank financial institutions
  • an incorporated society registered in 1965 (Incorporation number 216855)
  • Our rules require:
    - audited accounts to be produced each year and filed with the Registrar of Incorporated Societies
    - criteria for membership and termination of membership
    - a Code of Conduct binding on members and an associated complaints procedure

A. Membership

The Financial Services Federation (FSF) is an industry association with a voluntary membership comprising finance and leasing companies  and other major financial service providers. There are various specific interest clusters within the membership and outputs are designed with these in mind.

B. Purpose and Goals

Purpose

The FSF aims to serve the needs and best interests of members and to encourage the creation of an environment in which members can advance their own interests in markets which have a minimum of regulation (see C. Policy Rationale) and where there is competitive neutrality. In working to advance its purpose, the FSF pursues the following goals:

Goal 1: To provide an effective interface between members and government including ministers and agencies.

Method

By creating and maintaining relationships with key ministers, ministries and agencies. In particular, the FSF maintains contacts with ministries in the policy formation area and at the business end. The need to maintain credibility underlies these relationships and is aided by the FSF Economic Policy Rationale.

Outputs:

Representing member interests proactively through dialogue, comment and submissions to:

  • officials at the policy development stage
  • officials on draft legislation
  • select committees on proposed legislation
  • ministers on existing legislation
  • government departments and agencies on administrative matters. Responding by way of comment, or the provision of information, to requests received from ministries and agencies, in particular, the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Reserve Bank, Law Commission, IRD and Financial Markets Authority.

Goal 2: To provide a selective and constructive dialogue with private sector organisations.

Method

An ongoing relationship is maintained with kindred industry groups like the Bankers’ Association, the insurance and savings industry associations, the Retail Merchants’ Association and the motor industry associations. Contact is maintained with media and consumer interests generally and in relation to complaints handling. This group includes the Consumers' Institute and the private sector Ombudsmen. The FSF has dealings with clients or customers of member companies in relation to specific complaints they may have. It maintains contact with, and provides materials to, educational organisations particularly dealing with the issues relevant to its membership.

Outputs:

Maintaining contact with and raising or responding to issues with:

  • other finance sector associations
  • overseas counterpart associations and organisations
  • general retail and motor industry associations
  • private sector ombudsmen
  • consumer and media organisations
  • general consumer inquiries (relating to present or former members)
  • consumer complainants (relating to present member companies)
  • credit reporting agencies
  • FSF professional advisers

Goal 3: To provide a forum for members.

Method

The FSF promotes dialogue between members on issues relevant to their business. Interaction identifies scope for co-operation in relation to information resources or in facilitating joint approaches on compliance with regulatory or other requirements.

Outputs:

Maintaining contact with members by:

  • monthly newsletters
  • general and special purpose memoranda
  • monthly motor statistics
  • monthly press news 
  • distribution of information resources
  • co-ordination and sharing of legal advice
  • Economic, legal and business research materials are also provided on request to individual members from public and other sources.
  • regulation workshops
  • quarterly mortgage data publication

Member contact is also maintained by telephone, visits and at meetings.

General meetings provide the principle means for members to get together and establish networks.

Goal 4: To be efficient in its operations.

C. Policy Rationale

  1. The FSF takes a stand on issues relevant to members. It does not have the need for, or resources to develop, a view on the total economy.
  2. The FSF position on most issues is based on the view that the interests of members and their customers and/or members are best served by the existence of a competitive market for financial services, which is substantially free of the distortions created by public or private regulation.
  3. The existence of competitively neutral regulation in the securities, commercial and consumer law areas is accepted. The form of such legislation may be subject to debate. The FSF view is that public regulation is warranted only in circumstances where its identifiable benefits outweigh the costs.
  4. The existence of competitive markets, informed consumers and the absence of unnecessary regulation are likely to produce the greatest benefit for all parties.
  5. The FSF will not be too dogmatic about policy implementation, except where this is inconsistent with policy.
    Agreement on a broad economic ideology does not take away the right to be pragmatic where a sound basis for this exists nor does it take away the right to pursue some issues actively, and to leave others alone.
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