Choosing a dispute resolution scheme (DRS)

Who must join a DRS, and the schemes to choose from

If you provide financial services to retail clients, you must belong to an approved dispute resolution scheme (DRS) in relation to those services and have their membership details recorded on the register.

On this page:

What a DRS is and who can use one

A dispute resolution scheme (or DRS) deals with customer complaints or disputes with their FSP. All DRSs have rules about their complaints process, what you have to do and the kinds of complaints they deal with.

Only individual customers of an FSP or small organisations with 19 or fewer full-time equivalent employees can take a complaint to your DRS. It's free for them to do this, but they must take their complaint to you first.

Approved dispute resolution schemes

Who must belong to a DRS

Unless an exemption applies, all FSPs providing financial services to retail clients must belong to a DRS.

Section 49 of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 sets out the meaning of a ‘retail client’.

Where required to belong to a DRS, an FSP must add their membership details to the register —

  • within 10 working days of registration, and/or
  • within 10 working days of being engaged by a FAP,

or face being deregistered.

Financial adviser engaged by a FAP

When a FAP records the engagement of a financial adviser, they must indicate whether they’ll be covering them under their DRS membership. If so, the FAP’s membership details will be added to their registration automatically.

If the FAP is not covering them, the financial adviser must join a DRS in their own name, in relation to the financial advice service, and add the membership details to the FAP engagement section of their registration within 10 working days of becoming engaged.

If they offer other financial services, they must join a DRS in their own name in relation to those services and add the membership details in the DRS section of their registration within 10 working days of selecting the services.

If they fail to provide DRS membership details where required to, they may be deregistered.

Financial advisers engaged by multiple FAPs must have a DRS in place for each FAP.

Who doesn't need to belong to a DRS

You don't need to join a DRS if you:

  • only provide services to wholesale clients, such as other businesses, professional investors, large companies, related companies and Crown agencies
  • issue or promote securities to the public from time to time, but it's not your principal business.

Approved dispute resolution schemes

There are 4 schemes approved by Consumer Protection to provide financial dispute resolution services. They are:

Banking Ombudsman (BOS)

Phone 0800 805 950

Person responsible for scheme: Nicola Sladden (Banking Ombudsman)

Level 5, Huddart Parker Building
1 Post Office Square

Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman (IFSO)

Phone 0800 888 202

Person responsible for scheme: Karen Stevens (Insurance & Financial Services Ombudsman)

70 The Terrace
New Zealand

Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL) — a Financial Ombudsman Service

Phone 0800 347 257

Person responsible for scheme: Susan Taylor (Chief Executive Officer)

Level 4, Legal House
101 Lambton Quay

Financial Dispute Resolution Service (FDR)

Phone 0508 337 337

Person responsible for scheme: Rex Woodhouse (Scheme Adjudicator)

FairWay Resolution Limited
Level 15, Chorus House
66 Wyndham Street
Auckland 1010

You'll be invoiced by the DRS you join for the fees they charge.

All help topics

Getting started on the register 6 guides

Dispute resolution schemes (DRSs) 2 guides

If you provide financial services to retail clients, you must join a DRS within 10 working days of registering and keep your membership details up to date on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR).

Filing an annual confirmation 3 guides

To remain registered as a financial service provider (FSP) you must confirm your FSP's details and services each year. Find out how to file your confirmation online, or to change the month you do it

Deregistration and reregistration 3 guides

You can voluntarily deregister a financial service provider (FSP), or it may be deregistered by the Registrar. In some circumstances you can object to a deregistration, or apply to have the FSP reregistered.

Paying fees and levies 3 guides

If you're a financial service provider (FSP), you pay fees for some transactions, including registration. You also pay levies to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). There are several ways to pay.

Managing your online services account 6 guides

Your FSPR online services account allows you to keep your FSP's contact and payment details up to date. From your account dashboard you can view and manage outstanding applications and tasks.