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).

It’s now a 2-step process to record the engagement on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR).

  • In step 1, either party can initiate the linking.
  • In step 2, the other party must confirm or decline the engagement.

On this page:

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 at least one financial advice provider (FAP). Your engagement must also be recorded on the FSPR.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that the FAP has linked to you on the FSPR within the required timeframe. We’ll send you an email reminding you that you need to be engaged by a FAP and add a reminder to your dashboard.

You can start the linking process on the register, but the status will be recorded as ‘pending’ until the FAP confirms or declines the engagement.

  • If you’re a new financial service provider — the FAP must be linked to you within 3 months of the date you registered to provide the ‘financial advice’ service.
  • If you’re an existing financial service provider — the FAP must be linked to you within 3 months of the date:
    • you added the ‘financial advice’ service to your registration, or
    • your only FAP engagement was ended.

When you initiate the linking process, we’ll send an email to the FAP letting them know they need to confirm your engagement. Once the FAP has confirmed, or declined, your engagement we’ll send you an email. If you have any questions about your engagement, please contact the FAP.

If the FAP has not linked to you within the required timeframe, you may be deregistered.

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 you are linked to a FAP on the FSPR the FAP will also confirm 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 your link to the FAP is confirmed, you must update your DRS details on the FSPR within 10 working days.

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

The FAP will de-link you from their registration if you are no longer engaged by them. Once you have been removed from a financial advice provider’s licence, you have 3 months of 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

Ensure all of your financial adviser engagements are recorded on the register

As a FAP you’re responsible for recording the details of your financial adviser engagements on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR). You’ll also need to record whether the financial advisers you’ve engaged will be operating under your dispute resolution scheme (DRS) or their own. You can start the linking process on the register, but the status will be recorded as ‘pending’ until the financial adviser confirms or declines the engagement.

  • 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.

When you initiate the linking process, we’ll send an email to the financial adviser letting them know they need to confirm the engagement. Once the financial adviser has confirmed, or declined, the engagement we’ll send you an email.

If the financial adviser is not linked to you within the required timeframe, they may be deregistered.

If you no longer engage a financial adviser

You must de-link a financial adviser from your registration if you are no longer engage them. We will then contact the financial adviser to confirm that they can't offer the financial advice service until they have been engaged by, and linked to, another financial advice provider.

If they’re not engaged again within 3 months, they will either have the 'financial adviser' service removed from their registration or they will be deregistered.

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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