Applying to register as a bank

How banks are registered and supervised

All banks operating in New Zealand must be registered with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and listed on a register of banks, which the Reserve Bank holds.

What's required to register

To apply for registration as a bank, you must meet the requirements under Section 70 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989.

Refer to the legislation

The Reserve Bank's role

A bank’s business consists mainly of borrowing and lending of money, but it will normally offer other financial services as well. The Reserve Bank oversees New Zealand's banking system, including the registration and supervision of banks.

The Reserve Bank also administers government requirements that banks may have to meet before and after they're licensed. These are intended to protect New Zealand's banking system.

The Reserve Bank maintains a public register of registered banks.

After a bank is registered

All registered banks are also required to be registered on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) and must file an annual confirmation, and pay the associated fee and levies. The amount of levy you pay as a registered bank depends on your total assets.

As a registered bank, the FMA levies you pay come under Class 2 or Class 2A of the Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Amendment Regulations 2012.

  • Class 2A applies if the bank is also licensed for the market service of acting as a financial institution
  • Class 2 applies if the bank is not licensed for the market service of acting as a financial institution.

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