Kiwis trust the financial system, but often feel financially insecure

New Zealanders have revealed the three most important things they want from financial institutions.

The Consumer Experience with the Financial Sector Survey, which was conducted by the Financial Markets Authority, found consumers want institutions to focus on:

  • Explaining in clear terms both the benefits and risks of products
  • Being transparent and simplifying the small print
  • Treating people as valued customers

The survey also found only one in five New Zealanders feel they are in a secure financial position:

  • 21% are swimming happily
  • 27% are starting to swim comfortably
  • 37% are just treading water
  • 15% are sinking

Another finding was that 53% of New Zealanders feel they have a good level of financial understanding, while 37% feel they have a mediocre level of understanding and 9% feel they have a low level of understanding.

On average, New Zealanders have 2.9 financial goals they are actively working towards, with the most common being to:

  • Grow income = 37%
  • Start saving money = 33%
  • Save for a specific purpose = 33%
  • Save for retirement = 32%
  • Become debt-free (excluding mortgage) = 24%

Meanwhile, about two in three New Zealanders feel slightly, fairly or very confident in the financial system:

  • 65% are confident that financial markets are effectively regulated
  • 71% are confident that financial markets offer good long-term opportunities for investors
  • 66% are confident that financial markets offer protections for investors and consumers

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