All New Zealand-based Financial Service Providers (FSPs) need to be registered to operate within the law.
The registration process is important because it ensures certain people are prevented from working as an FSP, such as those with criminal convictions or those intending to operate unlawfully. For consumers, having an electronic register of FSPs increases the level of transparency and public information about FSPs and their offered services.
If you offer financial services (including financial planning or advice) you most likely need to be registered. If you choose not to register, you could receive penalties including fines, or even imprisonment in some circumstances.
Some examples of financial services that require registration include:
Entities and individuals in the business of providing financial services are required to register on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR). The Register is maintained by the New Zealand Companies Office.
The key objectives of the register are to:
Read more about who needs a licence (external link) - Financial Markets Authority.
Applicants will have to meet several requirements before being registered as a FSP:
The application process involves:
Once you have your logon and account set up, then you can start your application online.
Choose the application type you will require from these three options:
Registering an individual as an FSP (external link) : A step-by-step guide to registering an individual as an FSP.
Registering a New Zealand registered entity as an FSP (external link) : A step-by-step guide to registering a New Zealand registered entity as an FSP.
Registering any other entity or body as an FSP (external link) : A step-by-step guide to registering another entity type (such as an unincorporated body) as an FSP.
There are different approved dispute resolution schemes that you can join. There is also a reserve scheme.
You must pay the appropriate fees of the particular dispute resolution scheme you choose to sign up to.
Find out more about the approved dispute resolution schemes (external link) .
You are disqualified if you are:
You must also ensure that the directors, senior managers and controlling owners are not individually disqualified.
All FSPs must be registered to legally provide financial services. If they provide, or offer to provide, financial services without current registration, they are in breach of section 11 of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act (2008) (external link) .
If an FSP provides, or offers to provide, financial services while in breach of the Act:
All fees are collected by the Companies Office as part of the application and confirmation processes.
There are a range of fees depending on whether you are registering as an individual or other entity. To view the current fees, visit the Financial Service Providers Register fees webpage (external link) .