One in three Kiwis (34%) aged 18 years and over have life insurance while eight in 10 have at least one investment type, KiwiSaver being the most common (66%), according to the results of a survey commissioned by the Financial Markets Authority on consumers' view of financial providers' conduct.
The findings show that life insurance and KiwiSaver investors rate their financial providers at 63%, compared to those with an investment portfolio or unit trust/managed fund who rate their interactions with their financial providers overall as very good or excellent (84%). This overall average rating (63%) of financial providers is the same as the ratings given by those with KiwiSaver and life insurance – this is driven by the large proportion of investors in these two categories. KiwiSaver is a voluntary, work-based savings initiative, aimed at promoting saving for retirement.
This is the second time the FMA has carried out consumer experience research (the previous wave being in March 2017). This year, a total of 2,011 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over took part in the research, between 24 August and 6 September 2018. Of these 1,628 had financial product or service of some kind (81%).
Perceptions have improved since 2017 results on all aspects of the interaction measured except the information provided being easy to understand (which has remained static at 68% agreement). The increase in perceptions of the quality of interaction with financial providers appears to be driven mostly by KiwiSaver investors.
The aim of the research is to help the FMA understand consumer experience of the conduct of financial service providers.
The survey found 70% of people said they were treated "fairly", and 72% felt they were treated with "respect".
Most and least trusted
In total, 68% of respondents with an investment trust their provider to meet their needs. Similar to the overall rating of their interactions, KiwiSaver and life insurance holders trust their providers the least, compared to other investment types, and those with an investment portfolio trust their providers significantly more (86% vs 68% of the total). Respondents with more than one investment type are more likely to trust their financial provider (71% vs 64% who have one investment type).