MR No. 2023 – 19
The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) - Te Mana Tātai Hokohoko - has filed High Court proceedings against Medical Assurance Society New Zealand Limited (MAS) and its subsidiaries for fair dealing breaches under section 22 of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMC Act).
The FMA claims that between 2014 and 2022*, MAS failed to apply the correct inflation adjustments on its customer policies, failed to apply multi-policy discounts and no claims bonuses, and underpaid life and disability claims to eligible clients.
In particular, the FMA alleges:
The FMA alleges MAS’s failures were due to errors and deficiencies in its systems, including data entry errors by MAS employees.
MAS self-reported the issues listed above to the FMA between 2019 and 2022, including reporting one of the issues as part of the FMA and Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Conduct and Culture reviews.
The FMA acknowledges that MAS has been cooperative with the regulator through its investigation since disclosing the issues. The FMA is seeking a declaration that MAS contravened the FMC Act and a pecuniary penalty. The proceedings were filed at the High Court in Wellington.
*At least one issue dates back to 2009 but the FMA’s claim only applies to MAS’s conduct from April 2014 onwards, which is the date the FMC Act came into force.
**The figures were the amount reimbursed to affected clients at the time the FMA filed its claim.
Subsidiaries refers to Medical Life Assurance Society Limited (MLA) and Medical Insurance Society Limited (MIS) which are wholly owned subsidiaries of Medical Assurance Society New Zealand Limited – the ultimate holding company of a group of companies trading as MAS.
FMA Media Relations Manager
021 220 6770
FMA Senior Adviser, Media Relations
021 241 7868