Criminal history checks

Who needs to have one and how they're carried out

You only need to have a criminal history check once in every 36 months. It takes 2 to 5 working days to complete and costs $35 (plus GST) per individual.

Who needs a criminal history check

Criminal history checks are carried out on:

  • every individual financial service provider (FSP), and
  • all individuals in the role of a director, senior manager or controlling owner of an FSP.

When checks are carried out

When you apply to register and before we accept your application, we advise you if we need to carry out a criminal history check. If 36 months have passed since your last check, we let you know when you file your annual confirmation that we intend to carry out a new check.

What gets checked

The checks — which are done by the Ministry of Justice — look for convictions that disqualify a person from being an FSP. These include:

  • convictions under Section 14 of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008
  • convictions for crimes involving dishonesty within the past 5 years under Sections 217 to 266 of the Crimes Act 1961
  • offences relating to the financing of terrorism
  • convictions for money laundering.

If you're registering an entity as an FSP

When you apply, and before we check with the Ministry of Justice, you need to confirm that the people involved in the management of your FSP are not disqualified — that is, the directors, the controlling owner and senior managers.

After a successful criminal history check

We email you to confirm that your application to register on the FSPR has been accepted.

If you need to make another application within 36 months, you won’t need to undergo another criminal history check.

Making more than 1 application at the same time

If you're making multiple applications, to avoid being charged again, wait for the criminal history check to be completed before submitting your second application. For example, if you're applying as an individual and are also included in an application for an entity where you're a director, you can avoid paying for 2 criminal history checks by waiting for the first application to be completed before submitting the second. It takes 2 to 5 working days to complete the check.

If you fail the criminal history check

We decline your application for registration if you fail the criminal history check or another person named in the application fails it.

If you applied as an individual FSP, you can't apply again until you can successfully pass the check.

If your application was declined because a director, controlling owner or senior manager named in your application failed the criminal history check, you can continue with the application, but you must remove that person.

All help topics

Using the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) 5 guides

Get help to search the FSPR, upload documents, set up your online services account and find out what to do if you forget your RealMe® username or password.

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).

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.

Applying to provide licensed services 6 guides

You can apply to become an authorised financial adviser (AFA) or Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE), or be licensed to provide other financial services. Find out who to apply to.

Filing an annual confirmation 3 guides

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

Managing your registration as a financial service provider (FSP) 6 guides

All FSPs must keep their details up to date. We may deregister your FSP if you don't comply, but you can reregister in some circumstances. You can also deregister voluntarily.

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.