We investigate a range of complaints about the conduct of individuals and businesses that operate in New Zealand's financial markets. This page talks about when you should complain to us and who better to contact for complaints that fall outside of our remit. You will also find out how to make a complaint and the information we need in order to process a complaint.
Misleading or deceptive conduct - We expect all providers of financial products and services to ensure that customers are not confused or misled and to ensure that all representations are based on facts. In addition, we encourage directors, senior managers and those involved with providing financial products and services to also consider how their conduct can help investors and consumers make appropriate financial decisions considering their particular circumstances (such as vulnerable customers). The FMA has a variety of enforcement options available to address false, misleading, deceptive or confusing behaviour. The action taken will depend on the severity and level of misconduct.
Misleading information in disclosure documents such as a prospectus, investment statement or product disclosure statement (PDS).
If investment funds are withheld or unpaid when they are due.
If insider information is used for profit during a share market trade. Insider information is a fact about a public company's plans or finances that has not yet been revealed to shareholders and that could give an unfair advantage to its possessors if acted upon. Buying or selling stock based on insider information can be a criminal offense.
If a Company registered on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) has failed to report relevant and timely information in a prospectus or investment statement. Or if you believe that the information provided is misleading.
If you suspect a lowball share offer. A lowball offer is one that comes in below fair market value with no supporting rationale or evidence.
Illegal investment offers or investment schemes. We publish warnings and alerts about illegal investment offers and also report this information to the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). IOSCO is an association of organizations that regulate the world's securities and futures markets. In some cases we take enforcement action such as issuing a Stop Order.
Businesses that are not registered when they should be. Everyone who provides a financial service or financial advice in New Zealand must be registered for that service. They must also be a member of a dispute resolution scheme if they provide financial services to retail clients You can check if a company is registered in New Zealand at the Companies Office. You can also find basic details about a company such as the names of directors, addresses, registered shareholders, and financial statements.
You can complain about an investigation that is being conducted by the FMA or if you believe the FMA has not acted in an appropriate manner, acted outside of our legal mandate, failed to carry out our role, or if you believe we have made a mistake or demonstrated lack of care, bias, or integrity. We will deal with complaints about us in the same way we process any other complaint.
If you believe there has been serious wrongdoing by or in the organisation you work for, and it relates to any of the matters discussed above or matters that the FMA might be able to consider in relation to the financial markets, you can make a protected disclosure to FMA.
We assess the seriousness of your complaint
We consider all complaints we receive, but we can't investigate each one. In deciding whether to look further into a complaint, we take into account our compliance and enforcement priorities. We also look at whether the issue you have complained about could harm the market, such as how widespread the conduct appears to be.
We respond to you within 20 working days
We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days and advise you whether or not your complaint will be acted on within 20 working days. In some cases we may ask you for further information or refer your complaint to another agency.
General enquiries will be acknowledged within two working days, and receive a response within 20 working days of receiving all relevant information.
We take action
If the issue potentially breaks one of the laws we enforce, we'll consider what action we should take. We have a broad range of powers and functions and may take action in a number of ways. Sometimes we will take action that is not made public or where the action is public but the subject is not named.We may decide not to take action at this time. If that is the case, we’ll let you know and close your complaint. However, we will use the information you have provided as part of our on-going monitoring of the financial services sector.
In some situations, there are other Agencies and organisations who are best placed to help.