Proposed changes recently announced by Cabinet look to strengthen existing regulatory powers granted under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (the Act). The changes aim to prevent any further misuse of the register by overseas entities, therefore helping to maintain New Zealand's reputation as a trusted jurisdiction to do business in.

The changes are in summary:

  • Allowing the Financial Market Authority (the FMA) to direct the Registrar of Financial Service Providers (the Registrar) to decline a registration or to de-register a provider where the FMA is not satisfied that the registration meets the purposes of the Act
  • Extending the Registrar’s powers of inspection to seek any information necessary to determine whether a financial service provider should be registered, including whether an application should be referred to the FMA
  • Disqualifying persons with overseas criminal convictions for theft, fraud or money laundering within the past five years from registration (persons convicted within New Zealand are already disqualified).