Everyone in New Zealand in the business of providing a financial service, whether in New Zealand or overseas, must be registered on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) before they can legally provide financial services. There are some exceptions and exemptions.
Who must register
Under the Financial Services Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008, everyone who provides, or offers to provide, a financial service in New Zealand or from New Zealand to other countries must register as an FSP.
Registration as a financial service provider is not an official approval of an individual, business or organisation. It doesn’t indicate that you’re licensed or regulated in New Zealand or any other country.
Who doesn’t have to register
There are some individuals and organisations that don’t need to register on the FSPR to provide financial services.
- Employees who provide financial services
If you’re an employee of a company that’s a registered FSP, you don’t have to register if you’re providing only wholesale or class services (or both).
- Qualifying Financial Entities (QFEs) advisers that don’t need to register
If you’re a QFE adviser, whether or not you need to register depends on the services you provide. The FMA website provides information to help you decide if you must register or not.
- Businesses that provide financial services
Businesses that provide financial services as a necessary part of their practice don’t have to register on the FSPR. This includes: (a) lawyers; (b) chartered accountants; (c) tax agents; and (d) real estate agents.
Who is exempt from registration?
There are some activities and services that you don’t need to be registered on the FSPR to provide. These include:
- angel investors supporting start-up businesses
- sole adviser practices — although you still need to register as an individual FSP
- providers of gift cards and loyalty schemes.
The full list of exemptions is in the Financial Service Providers (Exemptions) Regulations 2010.
Who can’t register as an FSP
You can’t register or be involved in the management of a registered FSP if, for example, you:
- are an undischarged bankrupt
- are a banned director
- are subject to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 1991, or
- have been convicted of:
- money laundering
- an offence relating to the financing of terrorism
- a crime involving dishonesty within the last 5 years.