Requirements for financial advice providers and financial advisers

Financial advisers must be linked to a financial advice provider

Every financial adviser must be engaged by, and linked in the register, to a financial advice provider (FAP). The FAP is responsible for recording the details of that engagement on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR).

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What financial advisers need to do

Ensure you are linked to a financial advice provider (FAP)

If you’re registering on the FSPR to provide the 'financial adviser' service, you need to be engaged by a financial advice provider (FAP). The FAP must record that engagement on the FSPR by linking to your registration.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that the FAP has linked to you on the FSPR within the required timeframe.

We’ll send both you and the FAP an email once they’ve linked to you on the FSPR.

If FAP has not linked to you within the required timeframe, and you are offering only the ‘financial adviser’ service, you will be deregistered. If you are offering other financial services, you’ll have the ‘financial adviser’ service removed from your registration.

Choose a dispute resolution scheme (DRS)

As part of being engaged by a financial advice provider (FAP), you’ll need to agree whose DRS you will operate under – a scheme provided by the FAP, or your own.

Whatever agreement you reach, you’ll need to make sure that you have a clear and comprehensive process to resolve any disputes that may arise, and that your clients understand which DRS they should use if they require assistance.

When the FAP links to your registration on the FSPR they’ll also record whether you’ll be operating under their DRS. If you’re going to operate under your own DRS, you’ll need to update your registration to record which DRS you belong to. Once the FAP has linked to you, you must update your DRS details on the FSPR within 10 working days.

If you're no longer engaged by a financial advice provider

If you are removed from a financial advice provider’s licence, you have 90 days to be engaged by, and linked to, another financial advice provider. You will not be legally able to offer the financial advice service until you have done so.

If you’re not engaged again within 3 months, and you are offering only the 'financial adviser' service, you will be deregistered. If you are offering other financial services, you’ll have the 'financial adviser' service removed from your registration.

What financial advice providers (FAPs) need to do

As a FAP you’re responsible for recording the details of your financial adviser engagements on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR).

  • For new financial service providers — you must link to the financial adviser within 3 months of when they registered to provide the ‘financial advice’ service.
  • For existing financial service providers — you must link to the financial adviser within 3 months of the date they added the ‘financial advice’ service to their FSP registration.

How to link to a financial adviser

You can only link to an individual FSP who is registered and offers the ‘financial adviser’ service. To do this, you will need their name and FSP number. You’ll also need to record whether the financial adviser will be operating under your dispute resolution scheme (DRS).

As you will be updating your registration details on the FSPR, you’ll need to have:

  • a RealMe® login
  • an online services account with the FSPR
  • authority to update records on behalf of the financial advice provider.

Then follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your online services account using your RealMe ID and password.
  2. Locate your registration in the 'FSP Registrations' tab of your dashboard.
  3. On the 'View FSP details' screen, select the 'Financial Services' tab followed by the 'Maintain Financial Services' button.
  4. Scroll down to the 'Financial advice service' section where you’ll see the financial advisers, if any, that you’re already linked to.
  5. Select the 'Add Financial Adviser' button and search for the financial adviser you wish to engage, using their FSP number or name.
  6. Indicate whether or not they will be covered by your dispute resolution scheme (DRS).
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 above for each new financial adviser you add. Please note, if you are linked to multiple advisers, they will be listed alphabetically.
  8. When you’ve finished updating your registration, select 'Next Step: Declaration'. Review and confirm the declaration.
  9. Select 'Next Step: Review'. Review the information you have entered and tick the check box to confirm the information is true and accurate.
  10. Select the 'Submit' button at the bottom right of the screen.

If you now view your details on the FSPR and look at the financial services you’re registered to offer, you’ll see that the financial advisers you have engaged are appearing on the 'Financial Services' tab. We will send email confirmation to both you and the financial adviser advising that they’ve been linked to your licence.

Link to a financial adviser
New Zealand Companies Office

How to remove (de-link) a financial adviser

The process for removing a financial adviser is much the same as that for linking. The financial advice provider records the change on the FSPR as follows:

  1. Log in to your online services account using your RealMe ID and password.
  2. On your dashboard select your FAP from the 'FSP Registrations' tab.
  3. On the 'View FSP details' screen, select the 'Financial Services' tab followed by the 'Maintain Financial Services' button.
  4. Scroll down to the 'Financial Advice Service' section. You’ll see the financial advisers that you’re currently linked to.
  5. To remove a financial adviser, select the 'Remove' button below, and to the right of their details.
  6. Confirm the declaration, review the changes you've made and select 'Submit'.

The financial adviser will be immediately removed from your licence, and will receive an email informing them that they are no longer covered under your licence.

Financial advice providers who hold a transitional licence

Financial advice providers were able to apply for a transitional licence up until 15 March 2021. On 16 March 2023 all transitional licences will expire, and financial advice providers must hold or operate under a full licence to continue giving regulated financial advice to retail customers.

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is accepting full licence applications now and has set target dates for those.

Authorised bodies and nominated representatives

Authorised bodies

A licence may also, if its conditions allow, permit one or more entities to provide regulated financial advice to retail clients under another FAP’s licence. These ‘authorised bodies’ must be registered on the FSPR and licensed by the FMA.

Nominated representatives

Nominated representatives are engaged by a licensed financial advice provider to give regulated financial advice on their behalf. Nominated representatives do not need to be registered on the FSPR but must be engaged by a licensed FAP who must limit the nature and scope of the advice its nominated representatives can give.

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