Registration of financial service providersFinancial service providers must be registered on the Government Financial Service Providers Register in order to legally conduct a financial services business. This is in addition to any other licences or authorisations they may be required to hold under other laws.
Financial service providers include financial advisers, brokers, building societies, credit providers, credit unions, money changers, finance companies, foreign currency exchange dealers, fund managers, insurers, investment portfolio managers, issuers and registered banks.
The Financial Service Providers Register website has additional information about 'what is a financial service'. For a full description see section 5 of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008.
Some exemptions apply. For example, lawyers, chartered accountants, tax agents and real estate agents who only provide financial services in the ordinary course of their business do not need to register. For a full list of exemptions see section 7 of the Act.
The requirement to register is generally directed at entities and individuals who have a place of business in New Zealand or who live in New Zealand. However other legislation may require overseas people to be registered on the Financial Service Providers Register (see for example the Financial Advisers Act).
Do I need to register as an individual if my employer is registered?
The Act requires the person or entity that carries on the
business to be registered. Therefore if you are an employee
of a financial services provider company you don't have to be
registered unless you are offering certain financial adviser
services as explained below.
If you provide financial adviser services the requirement to register will depend on the types of financial adviser services you provide. If it's only class services or services to wholesale clients and your employer is a registered financial service provider, then you do not have to register individually. If you are not a QFE adviser but are providing personalised financial adviser services to retail clients then you will need to be registered. You may also need to be authorised. See guidance question and answers.
Does my entity need to register if it is only servicing its outstanding loans?
The Act requires credit providers to be registered. Providing credit generally means providing a loan or having a debt due to you. The requirement covers credit provided under a credit contract, as set out in the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act 2003 (with some additional exclusions set out in the Financial Service Providers Act). This covers lending to businesses as well as to retail customers.
Your entity provides credit (and needs to be registered) until the credit is completely repaid (or forgiven). Providing credit includes having a loan due to you that was originally made by another provider. For example, you will usually need to register if you have bought or been assigned a loan.
Credit providers providing credit to retail customers will also
need to belong to a dispute resolution scheme (see below).