Financial service provider licenses
After their registration with the financial services companies’ registrar, companies providing financial services in New Zealand will need to obtain a financial services provider (FSP) license with the Financial Markets Authority. Healy Consultants will be pleased to assist our Clients with i) determining the type of license required for their business and ii) submitting a successful application to the New Zealand FMA.
- Our Clients willing to offer financial services in New Zealand will be required to obtain at least one FSP license amongst the six described below:
- The DIMS license, needed by funds providing asset management and financial advisory services. Its requirements are particularly complicated and will require our Client to provide evidence for excellent investment expertise;
- The managed investment scheme license is similar to the DIMS license, but with less stringent requirements for funds providing asset management services, but without power to make buy/sell decisions on their customer’s behalf;
- The derivative issuer license is required by all businesses issuing and/or trading in derivatives. As derivative contracts cover a broad range of financial products, approved licenses are limited to a sub-range of them;
- The Crowd funding services license is needed by businesses assisting entrepreneurs and startups to raise capital from a large number of people, usually via dedicated websites;
- The peer to peer lending services license is similar to crowd funding services, except that the licensee will assist its customers with securing loans from non-banks lenders, usually for personal, charitable or small business purposes.
- The independent trustee license is usually of little use to our Clients, as only managers of i) funds setup by companies for their employees’ and ii) government approved “kiwi-savers” funds are eligible to that type of license.
- Our Clients may benefit from the exemption to secure a financial service provider license, provided:
- They provide asset management and financial advisory services exclusively to “wholesale investors”, that is to say i) banks, investment funds and other financial corporations with an FSP license ii) individuals with a net worth of US$2 million and an annual income over US$200,000 and iii) customers paying an entry fee of US$500,000;
- They provide financial services exclusively to individuals and businesses residing outside of New Zealand. However, these businesses will generally require a license in the country where these services are being offered, which Healy Consultants would be pleased to obtain on behalf of our Client if needed;
- Healy Consultants recommends our Clients offering financial services abroad to clearly state they are not regulated in New Zealand. The Financial Markets Authority has indeed announced that it would i) deregister all exempted businesses creating a misleading impression that they are providing services from NZ ii) include their name in a publicly available blacklist and iii) sue such businesses, with a fine of up to US$600,000 if proved guilty.
- Healy Consultants will assist our Clients obtaining an FSP license, by proving that:
- They are already registered with the financial service provider registrar, by providing a registration identifier that Healy Consultants will obtain on our Client’s behalf;
- They have a clear idea of the financial services that will be provided by their company, by submitting i) their expected number of Clients (retail/wholesale) ii) the expected value of their assets under management and iii) a detail-oriented business plan, inclusive of financial services provided, assets issued or traded, investment strategies;
- They have sufficient experience to provide financial services, by submitting i) a valid ID ii) a detailed resume iii) copies of their degrees iv) financial adviser license (if applicable) v) an extract of judicial record and vi) an acknowledgement of legal liability for services provided in New Zealand;
- Their directors and senior staff have sufficient experience to provide financial services, by submitting i) valid ID and copies of all degrees ii) financial adviser license (if applicable) and iii) an acknowledgement of legal liability;
- That the company’s operations will abide with New Zealand financial regulation, by submitting its i) articles of association ii) commitment to subscribe to an indemnity insurance plan and documenting its procedures to i) market its financial product and services ii) select its customers iii) stress-test its investment strategies iv) and appoint an oversight body and independent compliance department (for larger businesses only);
- That the company will be financially sound by providing i) its last audited financial statements or a detailed financial plan (for startups) ii) a 1 year cash flow forecast iii) evidence of sufficient cash contributions and other liquid assets which could be sold in less than 3 months;
- This list of required documents is not exhaustive and the Financial Markets Authorities expects that gathering and preparing all required documentation to take up to three months. Please email us at email@example.com or directly contact our CRO in charge of New Zealand financial services company incorporation.
Other important requirements for financial services providers
- New Zealand financial service providers are subject to strict registration requirements, including:
- Such companies must always i) register with the FSP registrar every year and ii) pay annual renewal fees. Failure to do so is subject to a fine of up to US$250,000 and 12 months of imprisonment;
- New Zealand financial companies are also required to file annual financial statements i) drafted according to New Zealand GAAP standards and ii) audited by a licensed auditor. Smaller financial services providers serving a limited amount of customers may however apply for simplified audit requirements, granted on a case-by-case basis by the Financial Markets Authority;
- Financial service providers must lastly adhere to a consumer dispute resolution scheme setting guidelines by which the company must abide when facing a business dispute, unless its Clients are exclusively i) banks, investment funds and other financial corporations with an FSP license ii) individuals with a net worth of US$2 million and an annual income over US$200,000 and iii) customers paying an entry fee of US$500,000;
- Investment funds, hedge funds and issuers of financial products are subject to the following requirements:
- For each financial product offered, our Clients must always prepare and file a prospectus with the FMA, with detailed information regarding i) the securities being offered ii) the terms of the offer and iii) information about its issuer;
- Before selling a financial product to a customer, New Zealand financial service providers must always provide such Client with an investment plan, containing key information that a prudent but non-expert investor could understand;
- Financial service providers must lastly i) maintain a register for all issued securities and ii) get this register audited every year by a certified auditor.
- Our Clients offering financial advisory services will also be subject to the following requirements:
- All financial advisory services providers must register with the FSP registrar, unless such services are provided exclusively to i) banks, funds and other corporations with a license or ii) high net worth individuals;
- Financial advisers are furthermore required to become authorized if they either i) buy/sell financial products on behalf of a Client ii) give personalized advice on category 1 products or iii) provide investment planning services;
- While registration as a financial adviser follows a straightforward procedure, becoming an authorized financial adviser (AFA) is a much more complicated process, during which the authorities will check the applicant’s skills through standardized tests;
- Healy Consultants may assist our Clients with submitting a successful application to become a registered financial provider. Our Firm may also assist our Clients to hire a New Zealand authorized financial adviser (AFA), if required for the setup of their business.
Kindly find below our standard fees for the incorporation and licensing of New Zealand FSP entities for the type of licenses most commonly requested by our Clients. For banking institutions and less common types of FSP businesses, please contact us directly.
The average New Zealand company registration, corporate bank account opening and FSP licensing period is 25 weeks as outlined below:
|Service||Forex||Hedge Fund||Financial advisory||Bank||FSP (LLC)||FSP (LTC)|
|Engagement planning||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||6 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Company incorporation period||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week|
|Bank account approval||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks||4 weeks|
|Internet banking approval||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week|
|Incorporation completion||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week||1 week|
|License approval||1 year||1 year||9 months||2 years||N/A||N/A|
|Total engagement period||18 months||2 years||1 year||3 years||11 weeks||11 weeks|
Frequently asked questions
Are foreigners allowed to setup financial New Zealand financial companies?Yes, it is not required to setup a New Zealand-owned finance company in order to launching financial services in New Zealand. However, the company will need at least one resident director. Part of our registration and FSP licensing services include provision of a nominee resident director to our Clients in need of such service.
What is a New Zealand offshore finance company?A scam. Such business entity does not exist. New Zealand offshore companies are in fact just unlicensed financial providers in New Zealand, as correctly demonstrated by this public announcement from the New Zealand Reserve Bank. New Zealand is not an offshore jurisdiction for financial services providers.