Page last updated: 21 December 2022

Enforcing the law

The FMA identifies and deals with market conduct that poses a risk to investors or customers. It is a critical part of our work. The purpose of enforcement is to hold to account anyone that breaches their legal obligations, and to deter others from engaging in misconduct. This page explains our enforcement policy and provides details of our enforcement activity.

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Our enforcement policy is intended to guide and inform financial market participants. It is also intended to be a living policy and we may revise it from time to time according to what our objectives and priorities are. It is not exhaustive and is not binding.

View our enforcement policy page for more information on this topic.

In the event of a breach of financial markets legislation, we may intervene on an informal basis or at a low level where such action is proportionate to the misconduct and will achieve an appropriate market outcome. However, where appropriate, we will take strong action and hold individuals and entities accountable when they break the law and fail to meet the standards that are expected of them. If harm has been identified, we may also take regulatory action of some sort even though no ‘rules’ appear to have been broken.

View our list of enforcement activity

The hearings page outlines our approach to conducting hearings and explains the process we follow if you are entitled to a hearing and request one.

Read more about our approach to hearings

Individuals who are precluded from engaging in certain activities in respect of the governance and/or management of companies as a consequence of action taken by the FMA.

View the list of management bans and undertakings of non-participation

During the period 2006-2012, 51 New Zealand finance companies went into liquidation or receivership, or frozen payments. Many New Zealanders lost their money.

The scale and circumstances of the sector gave rise to concerns of inappropriate behaviour and breaches of the Securities Act and a programme of investigations into the failures was initiated.

View the list of failed finance companies.

Enforcement activity

Medical Assurance Society New Zealand Limited (MAS)
Details of the case filed in the High Court against Medical Assurance Society New Zealand Limited (MAS) can be found on this page.
Wisdom House Investment Partners Limited
FMA made a permanent stop order to Wisdom House after its sole financial adviser engaged in serious misconduct at his previous employer.
Aurora Financial Group Limited
Details about the FMA case against Aurora Financial Group Limited can be found on this page.
Forestlands and director Rowan Charles Kearns
A new sentencing date for Mr Kearns has been confirmed for the 20 July 2023 at 2.15pm in the Nelson District Court.
Oceania Natural Limited (ONL) and associated individuals
FMA alleged breaches of market manipulation prohibitions and the disclosure obligations in the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013. Read more.
The Auckland High Court has ordered life insurer AIA to pay a pecuniary penalty of $700,000 for making false and/or misleading representations to some ...

Policy documents

Model litigant policy

This policy is a statement of principles and embodies the commitment made by FMA on how we will conduct litigation.

Read more

Regulatory response guidelines

How the FMA regulates market conduct that contravenes the legislation that we enforce. 

Read more

Co-operation policy

FMA often receives the co-operation of entities, individuals or other regulators when we investigate financial market misconduct.

Read more