Banks, financial institutions and insurance

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In one of the fastest evolving sectors, we help you look ahead as businesses across the board continue to evolve to meet industry requirements.

Voted by clients as ‘Best Provider to Financial and Insurance Services’ in Australasia in the prestigious Beaton Client Choice Awards 2022, our in-depth understanding of the banking, financial services, and insurance industries enables us to anticipate and navigate the challenges our clients face. 

We are proud to partner with local and international banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and brokers to manage risk, ensure compliance, and achieve their strategic goals.  

We can help with all matters impacting banks, financial institutions and organisations operating in the insurance industry. As part of the MinterEllison Legal Group, we can also assist with trans-Tasman and international matters and advise across multiple locations. 

We can help with:
  • Financial services regulation, including engaging with regulators and advising on:
    • The regulatory regimes created by the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 (FMCA), the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT), and the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008
    • The prudential regimes for banks and non-bank deposit takers under the Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act 1989, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 2021 and the Non-Bank Deposit Takers Act 2013, and for life insurers and other insurance companies under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010
  • Banking regulation and compliance projects, including the application of the Personal Properties Securities Act (PPSA), Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA) (including the Responsible Lending Code), Fair Trading Act (FTA), FMCA, Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act, and the Reserve Bank’s BS11 Outsourcing Policy.
  • FinTech and blockchain  
  • Investment funds and superannuation 
  • Insurance matters, from policy development and disputes
  • Corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions  
  • All banking and finance transactions including leveraged and private capital finance, asset finance, corporate finance, project finance, property and real estate finance, receivables finance and securitisation, sustainable finance, and Debt Capital Markets (DCM)
  • Restructuring and insolvency 
  • Privacy, data protection and cyber 
  • Technology 
  • Employment issues
  • Property and real estate  matters
  • Sustainability and ESG initiatives
  • Tax structuring
  • Allegations of financial crime 
  • Conduct and culture reviews
  • Inquiries and investigations by regulators including by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ), and other government agencies
  • Assisting with claims, resolving disputes and bringing and defending litigation of complex and high value issues involving banks, financial institutions or insurance entities.


One factor that makes this team stand out for me is that they deeply understand our business and our industry, and that really enhances their ability to combine legal guidance with a keen commercial awareness. Above others, they are the firm that will raise with us broader implications for our business not just from regulatory change but also in relation to any given piece of work they are assisting us with. The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022


Recent highlights
CCCFA enforcement and compliance

Advising major banks and financial service providers in relation to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 and Commerce Commission investigations into lending. 

Advising major banks on significant regulatory and compliance projects on their consumer lending (including home loans) including reviewing and modernising banks’ policies, processes, systems, and controls and providing extensive advice on complex compliance and risk matters.

Transitioning financial institutions to the new Financial Adviser regime

Assisting Westpac and TSB Bank (and others, including four insurers, and several adviser and fund manager businesses) with the transition of their financial advice services under the new Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act adviser regime, including strategic advice on their obligations, licensing, and training requirements. The work in each case also involved significant engagement with the FMA as regulator.

Advising a major bank on AML/CFT compliance

Advising a major bank on a range of compliance issues on their AML/CFT obligations including advice on their prescribed transaction reporting obligations and international payments, assisting with preparations for an onsite RBNZ review, and assisting with a resolution of issues with the RBNZ. Also advised on potential implications of offshore litigation involving a related entity for AML/CFT breaches in that jurisdiction.

Governance, reputational and litigation risk in Environmental and Social Policy

Advising a major New Zealand financial institution on the corporate governance and disclosure risk inherent in the commitments made in its proposed Environmental and Social Policy. Advice included the adequacy of processes to manage that risk, including potential ‘greenwashing’ claims by regulators or activists if representations are unsubstantiated or insufficiently supported by internal processes and procedures.

Milford funds

Advising Milford Asset Management over many years with its award-winning funds management and financial advice business, including KiwiSaver assets, which continues to grow to over $87 billion. This has included transitioning seven Milford Unit Trust PIE Funds, three Milford KiwiSaver Scheme funds and eight Milford wholesale funds to the FMCA regime, establishing multiple new funds subsequently, assisting with disclosure documents, regulatory advice, and assisting with the transition to the new financial advisers regime.

High profile insurance arbitration for alleged breach of professional duties

Acting for a major insurance broker at arbitration around claims of negligence, breach of contract, and misleading and deceptive conduct under the Fair Trading Act 1986 worth $350 million. The complex case involving cross-border witnesses, raises numerous insurance issues including policy interpretation, insurance brokers’ duties, reinsurance, causation, the correct measure of damages, novel privilege issues in the context of a settlement, and complex quantum assessments.  

Conduct and Culture matters

Acting for various public and private sector clients seeking to address conduct and culture matters within their organisations. This has included responding to regulatory inquiries, together with being engaged by boards and management to conduct internal reviews. Matters have included bank conduct and culture, investigating proper conduct regarding staff incentives, workplace sexual harassment and bullying, and risk culture.