Page last updated: 08 August 2022


Conduct is how market participants behave and how they serve the needs of customers. It is about how a business operates as a whole, and it’s driven by the culture and the governance of the organisation.

What conduct do we expect?

We expect financial service providers to promote fair outcomes for consumers. This means a focus on:

  • treating customers fairly in all interactions
  • recognising and prioritising the interests of customers and effectively managing the conflicts of interest that arise
  • giving customers clear, concise and effective information
  • designing and distributing products that are suitable, work as expected and as represented, and are targeted at appropriate customer groups
  • ensuring adequate after-sales care, including complaints and claims handling, and not imposing unnecessary barriers to switching or exiting a product or service
  • effectively monitoring their own conduct, and where relevant the conduct of suppliers and distributors, to ensure they can identify, rectify and learn from mistakes. 

We expect boards and senior managers to look at this list and then ask themselves whether they are doing these things.  We also expect them to be proactive in identifying instances where they may not be properly serving the needs of customers. 

Download the Guide to the FMA’s view of conduct to read a detailed description of our expectations.

How do we assess conduct?

We assess the conduct of market participants in a number of ways, including:

  • Running monitoring reviews to assess how they are complying with obligations and demonstrating they are serving the needs of customers
  • Undertaking ‘thematic reviews’ of the sector to understand how different firms conduct themselves on a particular topic of interest
  • Acting on information (such as complaints) from customers and market participants themselves

We also get information from consumers to understand their perspectives on the conduct of market participants.


Governance Thematic Review
A joint RBNZ and FMA thematic review examining the policies, processes and operational practices of boards of financial institutions in key areas of g ...
CoFI intermediated distribution
This guidance outlines our expectations when financial institutions are distributing products and services through intermediated channels under the Co ...
Here’s why complaints are really 'moments of truth'
Clare Bolingford, FMA Executive Director Regulatory Delivery talks about the value of complaints to financial services companies.
Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services
This is the Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services prepared in accordance with Part 4 of Schedule 5 of the Financial Markets Condu ...