IFSO Scheme welcomes Commissioners Teresa Tepania-Ashton and Kendall Flutey

12 June 2020

The Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme is delighted to welcome new IFSO Scheme Commissioners: Māori Women’s Leadership Inc CEO, Teresa Tepania-Ashton, and Founder and CEO of financial literacy platform Banqer, Kendall Flutey.

“Teresa and Kendall are both innovative leaders with strong financial sector experience,” says IFSO Scheme Commission Chair, Sue Suckling. “Their vision and experience will contribute strongly to our future direction.”

Teresa Tepania-Ashton received the NZ Order of Merit for services to Māori and business in 2016. Decades of community and governance experience inform Teresa’s current role as CEO of the Māori Women’s Leadership Inc. Teresa worked for 12 years internationally with Citibank, and is currently Director-Chair of Ahau NZ Ltd, Chair of Kahukuraariki Trust, and AKINA Steering Group member.

Kendall Flutey founded Banqer in 2014, a financial education platform, which has successfully raised the financial literacy and capability of school students throughout Aotearoa. Kendall sits on the Digital Council of Aotearoa and the Initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission. Among her awards, Kendall was named Young New Zealander of the year in 2019, and Young Māori Business Leader of the Year in 2018.

Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman, Karen Stevens, says 2020 has been an unprecedented year. “In the context of a global recession and increasing financial hardship, access to free and independent dispute resolution services for consumers becomes even more vital,” says Karen. “Together with responding to complaints and enquiries, the IFSO Scheme provides information to help consumers make informed choices. It’s ideal timing to focus on our accessibility and reach, and we look forward to the insights of our new Commissioners.”

Kendall and Teresa join Dr Pushpa Wood as consumer representatives on the IFSO Scheme Commission. The Director of Massey University’s Financial Education and Research Centre (Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre), Dr Wood has worked across the education, NGO, public and private sectors to improve adult literacy and financial literacy. In 2016, Dr Wood was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to financial literacy and interfaith relations.

The IFSO Scheme Commission comprises three consumer representatives and three industry representatives: Chris Curtin, AA Insurance CEO, Rob Hennin, nib NZ Ltd CEO, and Lyn McMorran, Executive Director of the Financial Services Federation.

“Improving consumer outcomes is more topical than ever,” says Karen. “Boosting financial capability is a priority together with improving conduct, culture and trust in the financial sector. The strength of experience on the IFSO Scheme Commission will help guide our response to change.”

The IFSO Scheme has been resolving complaints about insurance and financial services for 25 years. Our service is free and independent.