Criminal history checks

Who needs one, and how they're carried out

Individuals providing financial services directly, or as part of an FSP, may need to have a criminal history check at the time of registration, and when filing an annual confirmation. The check 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 required for:

  • individual financial service providers, and
  • individuals in the role of a director, senior manager or controlling owner of an FSP.

When checks are carried out

We’ll carry out a criminal history check when:

  • you apply to register as a financial service provider and haven’t had a criminal history check on the FSPR in the previous 36 months
  • you file your annual confirmation, and 36 months have passed since you were last checked.

What gets checked

The checks — which are carried out by the Ministry of Justice — look for convictions that disqualify a person under Section 14 of the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 from being a financial service provider (FSP). These include:

  • convictions for crimes involving dishonesty within the past 5 years as defined in section 2(1) of the Crimes Act 1961
  • offences relating to the financing of terrorism
  • convictions for money laundering
  • forfeiture orders under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009.

Refer to the legislation

When you pass a criminal history check

We’ll let you know by email when you’re successful. If you are offering financial services that do not require authorisation from a licensing authority, your registration is complete.

If you’re applying to register another FSP (individual or entity), any individual in the new application who has completed a successful criminal history check on the FSPR within the past 36 months, need not undergo a further check. 

When you fail a criminal history check

If the check is unsuccessful, and you’ve applied as an individual FSP, we’ll decline your application. You’ll not be able to apply again until you’ve passed the check.

If you applied as an entity and any individual(s) named in your application (i.e. a director or controlling owner or senior manager) failed the criminal history check, you can continue with the application only after you remove the individual(s) from the registration. This may require updating the home register, for example, the Companies Register.

All help topics

Getting started on the register 4 guides

A new financial advice regime came into effect on 15 March 2021 which also brought about changes to the Financial Service Providers Register.

Registering a financial service provider (FSP) 9 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).

Providing licensed or certified services 5 guides

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

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

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.