Complaining about a financial service provider (FSP)

If you have a complaint about an unregistered or registered FSP, find out what to do and who to contact.

Who you can make a complaint about

You can complain about:

  • an unregistered financial service provider (FSP)
  • a registered FSP, such as a financial adviser or Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE)
  • the conduct of an FSP.

FSPs include financial advisers, brokers, building societies, credit providers, credit unions, money changers, finance companies, foreign currency exchange dealers, fund managers, insurers, investment portfolio managers, issuers and registered banks.

Complaints about unregistered FSPs

All FSPs must be registered on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) in order to legally conduct their business. This is in addition to any other licences or authorisations they may be required to hold under other laws.

It's an offence under:

  • Section 11(1) of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 for anyone who lives or has a place of business in New Zealand to provide a financial service if they're not registered on the FSPR
  • Section 12 of the Act for a person to say that they're registered, able or willing to provide a financial service if they're not registered on the FSPR.

Before lodging your complaint, search the FSPR to check if the person or business is a registered FSP.

Making a complaint

Who you complain to depends on the service the FSP provided to you.

Contact the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to make a complaint about:

  • a financial adviser
  • a broker
  • a credit provider, credit union or finance company
  • a money changer or foreign currency exchange dealer
  • a fund manager or investment portfolio manager
  • an issuer.

Contact the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to make a complaint about:

  • a registered bank or building society
  • an insurer
  • a non-bank deposit taker.

Complaints about registered FSPs

It's a criminal offence for a disqualified person to:

  • act as an FSP personally, or
  • act in a management or controlling ownership role in a financial services business.

Section 14 of the 2008 Act describes people who are disqualified.

FSPs also have to:

  • be registered for the different types of financial services they provide, and
  • hold the relevant licence if they provide a licensed service — for example, a crowd funding service can only be provided by a Financial Service Provider (FSP) that is licensed by the FMA.

Making a complaint

If you have evidence that a registered FSP is disqualified under the 2008 Act or is providing a service for which they're not registered or licensed, who you complain to depends on the service the FSP provided to you.

Contact the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) to make a complaint about:

  • a financial adviser
  • a broker
  • a credit provider, credit union or finance company
  • a money changer or foreign currency exchange dealer
  • a fund manager or investment portfolio manager
  • an issuer.

Contact the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to make a complaint about:

  • a registered bank or building society
  • an insurer
  • a non-bank deposit taker.

Complaints about financial advisers or QFEs

All registered and authorised financial advisers (AFAs) are supervised by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). This includes QFEs and the financial advisers that come under those entities.

If you have a complaint about the conduct of a financial adviser or QFE, lodge your complaint directly with the FMA.

Consumer complaints about the conduct of an FSP

If you're a consumer of financial services and you have a complaint about your FSP, contact them first to see if they can resolve the issue. If you're not satisfied with the outcome, you can then take your complaint to the FSP's Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS).

To find out which DRS your FSP belongs to, search the FSPR.

The Consumer Protection website has more information for consumers about DRSs.