Financial advice providers must pay fees to the Companies Office (including FMA levies) when they register on the FSPR and when they complete their annual confirmation. These fees also apply to any authorised bodies or financial advisers you engage.
The Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations), as amended in 2020 and 2022, set out the levies payable by industry. The levies are set by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE).
The FMA receives funding from the Crown and a proportion of our costs is recouped from industry through levies.
A financial markets participant falls within one or more levy ’class’, depending on what financial services they provide.
The table below provides a high-level description of each levy class. For the full description of levy classes, see Schedule 2 in the Regulations.
|1||Persons making an application for registration on the Financial Service Providers Register|
|2||Registered banks and licensed non-bank deposit takers|
|2A||Registered banks and licensed non-bank deposit takers that are required to hold a conduct licence|
|3A||Licensed insurers that are required to hold a conduct licence|
|4||Licensed supervisors of debt securities and managed investment products in registered schemes|
|5||Managers (of registered schemes)|
|6||Persons who undertook trading activities on licensed markets, contributory mortgage brokers, trading financial products or foreign exchange on behalf of other persons (other than persons included in class 6A, 6B, 6C or 6D, authorised bodies that only provide the service under a market services licence held by a person in class 6A or 6D and DIMS wholesale providers) or licensed derivatives issuers|
|6A||Licensed discretionary investment management service (DIMS) retail providers|
|6B||Providers of a regulated client money or property service (as defined in section 6(1) of the FMC Act) other than persons included in class 6(a) or 6C|
|6C||Custodians and persons providing custodial services|
|6D||Crowdfunding service providers and peer-to-peer lending service providers|
|6E||Licensed financial benchmark administrators|
|6H||Licensed financial advice providers|
|7||All other financial service providers that are not included in any of classes 2 – 6H|
|8||Listed issuers (other than persons included in class 8A)|
|8A||Small listed issuers|
|9||Lodgement of a product disclosure statement (PDS)|
|10||Licensed market operators|
|10A||Licensed market operators that operate growth markets (other than persons included in class 10)|
|11||FMC reporting entities that lodge financial statements (or group financial statements) and auditor’s reports|
|13||Licensed overseas auditors|
|14||Persons that apply for registration or incorporation under the Building Societies Act 1965; the Companies Act 1993; the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982; or the Limited Partnerships Act 2008|
|15||Persons that are registered or incorporated and required to make annual returns under the Building Societies Act 1965; the Companies Act 1993; the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982; or the Limited Partnerships Act 2008|
|16||Climate reporting entities|
It is the responsibility of each financial service provider to ensure they are registered for the service(s) they provide and have paid the appropriate levies. As part of their online annual confirmation to the Registrar, they must select all of the applicable classes to determine the levies payable and confirm the information they have provided is true, correct and complete.
Under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (the FSP Act) it is an offence to:
These offences could result in a fine of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment for individuals, and a fine of up to $300,000 for businesses.
It is also an offence under the FSP Act to fail to notify the Registrar if any of the details contained on the FSPR are no longer correct. Failure to notify could result in a fine of up to $10,000.
We have discretionary power to waive a levy (in whole or part).
We will only do so if we are satisfied that the circumstances or characteristics of the financial markets participant are exceptional when compared with the circumstances or characteristics of others in the same class, so that it would make it inequitable for the person to pay the levy. The threshold is deliberately high.
The waiver power is not intended to be used to revisit settled policy positions.
Once we receive a waiver application and the fee, we will assess it. If we decide to grant the waiver, we must notify our decision in the Gazette, and publish the decision and reasons for it on our website.
You will need to email the following information to [email protected] with the subject line ‘Levy waiver application’.
How to pay your waiver application fee
You can pay by electronic deposit or internet banking. Payment can be made by applicants or law firms making applications on behalf of their clients.
The person paying the application fee must be the person who pays the subsequent fees and costs. For example, if a law firm pays the application fee, that law firm must also pay any additional fees and costs.
We recommend if law firms apply for waivers on behalf of their clients, the parties discuss and agree who will be responsible for paying the FMA’s fees before submitting a waiver application.
|Payment option||How to pay||Additional information|
|Electronic deposit or internet banking||Where bill pay is available please select ‘Financial Markets Authority - Other'
Otherwise, our bank details are:
Account name: Financial Markets Authority
Account number: 03-0584-0198005-000
|To ensure we process your payment correctly please provide the following information:
Particulars: Payer’s name*
Reference: Applicant’s name
You do not need to forward a hard copy of your application if paying electronically
* This is the name of the person paying the application fee. This person will be invoiced for any subsequent fees and costs. Payment by credit card is not available for this application process.
What are the fees
How long does it take
If you were an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA) immediately before 15 March 2021, the new Code provides ways in which you may use your AFA authorisation to demonstrate your competence, knowledge, and skill (as set out in Part 2 of the Code). We encourage you to check your authorisation against the new Code to make sure you meet the particular competency requirements for the advice you intend to give.
Under the transitional arrangements in the Act, there is a "Competency safe harbour" built into the transitional period at the start of the new regime.
You can rely on the competency safe harbour until 16 March 2023, if you do not already meet the competence, knowledge and skill standards set out in Part 2 of the Code, if:
This competency safe harbour applies to you, personally, while you work towards meeting those standards: it allows you to continue, for the first two years of the regime, to give the financial advice that you were legally permitted to provide as an AFA/RFA, even if you move to work for a different financial advice provider. After two years (on 16 March 2023), the competency safe harbour expires, and you will need to meet the standards of competence, knowledge and skill outlined in Part 2 of the Code.
Note that if you were a QFE Adviser before 15 March 2021 and became registered on the FSPR after 15 March 2021 you may be able to rely on the competency safe harbour.
You cannot rely on the competency safe harbour if:
In this case, you must meet the full competence, knowledge and skill standards set out in Part 2 of the Code, in order to give regulated financial advice to retail clients. This applies whether the financial advice provider you’re engaged by has a transitional licence or a full licence.
As a part of the financial advice regime introduced in March 2021, there are new disclosure obligations for those providing regulated financial advice to retail clients.
These are detailed in regulations 229A to 229J of the Financial Markets Conduct Regulations 2014.
Publicly available information
Disclosures relating to advice
Certain other information must be given to retail clients when:
More details about the information required to be disclosed can be found in Schedule 21A of the regulations here.
Requirements for form and manner of disclosure
The regulations include general requirements for the form and manner of disclosure (see regulation 229H).
All disclosures must be
You can also make information available or give information in the form and manner you reasonably consider appropriate, having regard to any stated purpose of the relevant regulation (see regulation 229H(3)).
For example, provided all other requirements are met, including a way to allow a recipient to readily store disclosure information in a permanent and legible form, disclosure of information through an email with a prominent hyperlink may be appropriate.
In this context, prominence may require a suitable warning as to the nature and importance of the information.
If a Financial Adviser (FA) wishes to provide advice to an overseas client, the FA will have to comply with the applicable laws of the relevant overseas jurisdiction. Product providers may also restrict the financial advice providers they work with from the sale or supply of the financial advice service to overseas clients.
Notwithstanding the above, FA’s should be aware if their clients plan to travel overseas to ensure clients are informed of the implications of receiving advice while overseas. This will allow the FA and client to plan the financial advice accordingly and ensure it is consistent with the FMCA.
This information is based on the law as at 15 March 2021. If the law in Australian or New Zealand changes then our approach to recognising Australian qualifications may be amended1. Terms and expressions in this section have the same meaning as they are given in the Corporations Act.
New Zealand competency standards
Under the FMC Act, all regulated financial advice must be given by or on behalf of a FAP. A person must not give regulated financial advice to retail clients unless they meet the standards of competence, knowledge and skill required by the Code. FAPs must take all reasonable steps to ensure that anyone they engage to give regulated advice to a retail client on their behalf complies with this requirement.
Standards 6 to 8 of the Code require capabilities equivalent to qualification outcomes of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) version 2. The Code lists certain ways that a person who gives financial advice may demonstrate the required standard (e.g., hold version 1 or 2 of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) or be an Authorised Financial Adviser immediately before the commencement of the Code).
The Code provides a flexible framework for a person to demonstrate their competence, knowledge, and skill. A person may demonstrate competence, knowledge, and skill in a way that is different from those listed in the Code. If this is done by reference to an alternative qualification or experience then it should be done in an objective, measurable and independently verifiable manner.
Australian professional standards1
We recognise that the qualifications and training under the Australian education and training standards for relevant providers listed below2 collectively meet the standards of competence, knowledge and skill required by standards 6 to 8 of the Code, provided additional training has been completed on the requirements for qualification outcome 4 of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) version 2.
Other overseas qualifications or experience may provide pathway
As noted above, the Code does not limit how you may demonstrate that you meet the required standards of competence, knowledge, and skill. If you have Australian qualifications that meet the former training standards under the Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s Regulatory Guide RG146 for financial advisers who provide personal financial product advice to retail clients on Tier 1 products or you have other relevant overseas qualifications or experience they may still provide an individual pathway for you towards meeting some or all of the competence, knowledge and skill standards in the Code. Your FAP can help you work out whether your overseas qualifications or experience mean you demonstrate some or all of the standards of competence, knowledge, and skill in the Code. There is also an alternative pathway to demonstrating competence, knowledge and skill available through The Skills Organisation. You can find all the information and apply for this through the Skills website.
Continuing professional development
Any person who gives financial advice (including those with overseas qualifications or experience) must also comply with the continuing professional development requirements in standard 9 of the Code. Individuals must, at least annually, plan for and progressively complete learning activities designed to ensure they maintain the competence, knowledge and skill for the financial advice they give as well as (to the extent relevant to that financial advice) an up-to-date understanding of the regulatory framework for financial advice in New Zealand.