5 Nov 2019

Today's business news: What you need to know

3:46 pm on 5 November 2019

Latest - The insurance industry's need to up its game and take concrete steps to win back and maintain public confidence is emerging as a key message from an industry conference in Auckland today.

Adrian Orr, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand

RBNZ governor Adrian Orr. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr has told the Insurance Council gathering that now is the time for the sector to review and improve its conduct and culture.

He's also warned the bank is going to take a closer view on the broader sector to ensure the industry provides appropriate outcomes for society as a whole.

And Tower Insurance's chief executive Richard Harding says confidence in the industry is at an all time low, and it needs to do more to deliver better services, conduct and products to consumers.

Kiwis need to save more for retirement

New research suggests most people won't have saved enough to last them through their retirement years.

ASB bank has looked at the issue and says people need to have saved 10 times their salary at retirement, which will likely last 25 years.

And with data showing more people are living longer, an average person will outlive their savings by roughly nine years.

Real Estate industry spends big on anti-money laundering

The real estate industry says it's spent about $20 million complying with anti-money laundering laws and expects to spend at least that much every year to keep compliant.

Since the start of the year, real estate agents have been subject to the laws, requiring them to verify and check their clients, report suspicious financial transactions, assess their vulnerability to suspect deals, and have the necessary systems to record and report.

The Real Estate Institute has canvassed the industry and says on top of the initial compliance costs, it expects real estate agents will be paying more than $25m a year to remain compliant.

REINZ chief executive Bindi Norwell says all agents should be compliant and if they don't there will be consequences.

Changes proposed to power companies' sales tactics

The Electricity Authority is proposing a six month ban on power companies being able to offer deals to retain or win back customers planning to shift suppliers.

It's released a paper and is asking for feedback on the suggestion that a retailer would have to wait 180 days before trying to win back a customer who has moved to another supplier.

The Authority says the move would help increase retail competition and give consumers more information to choose a retailer that best suits them.

It says this would give all retailers of whatever size equal opportunity to compete for customers and mean they would have to offer something new and different to retain them.

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