From 31 March 2025 registered banks, licensed insurers and licensed non-bank deposit takers, that provide products or services to consumers in New Zealand, will need to hold a financial institution licence to continue to offer relevant services. If you are required to obtain this new licence, you can apply on the FMA website from today.
Before you apply on the FMA website for your licence you need to update your details on the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR) by adding the ‘Financial Institution — licensed — Licensee’ service or, if appropriate, the ‘Financial Institution — Licensed — Authorised Body’ service. You need to update the FSPR at least 24 hours before you start your application with the FMA.
These new licences have been introduced by the Financial Markets (Conduct of Institutions) Amendment Act 2022 (the CoFI Act). Everything you need to know about the CoFI Act is on the FMA website — including guides to help you understand who needs a licence and to make your application.
In 2018 and 2019, the FMA and Reserve Bank of New Zealand conducted joint reviews on the conduct and culture of banks and life insurers within New Zealand. The reviews found the banks and insurers were not putting systems and processes in place to ensure that customers were being treated fairly.
The CoFI Act was introduced from the finding of these reviews. It amends the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 with the intent to protect consumers by putting them forefront of decisions and actions made by the institutions.