New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has issued a formal warning to Vanguard Australia for failing to lodge a required notice on the NZ Companies Office Disclose Register regarding action taken against it by ASIC.
In a media release on Wednesday, the FMA referred to three infringement notices from ASIC over greenwashing last year. The products are also offered to NZ investors through the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition regime (MRSO).
Following intervention from the FMA, Vanguard filed its notice on 2 February 2023, 55 business days after the infringement notices were issued.
The FMA believes Vanguard materially failed to meet its obligations under the country’s market rules by failing both to identify its obligations, and failing to have adequate processes in place to ensure that it filed the required notice within the required timeframe.
However, it only has only issued a formal public warning and no monetary fine.
The MRSO regime allows Australian financial product issuers to operate in New Zealand without needing to comply with all the provisions of the Financial Market Conduct Regulations 2014 (FMC Regs) on the basis that ASIC undertakes core supervisory action.
Under regulation 273(7) of the FMC Regs, Vanguard was required to provide the Disclose Register with notice of enforcement action or use of a power by the ASIC no later than 18 November 2022. This is to ensure that New Zealand investors are informed of any such action.