Financial Licenses

Setting up a bank has always been a tricky business, but today it is virtually impossible to overcome the wall of restrictions in most jurisdictions. That's where New Zealand, one of the most economically free countries in the world, comes in - the perfect place to provide financial services.

While traditional jurisdictions are becoming less attractive thanks to the wave of anti-business governments, New Zealand continues to capitalize on the opportunity to become one of the world's leading international financial centers.

A world where regulations are the bread and butter creates opportunities for countries like New Zealand to become safe harbors for international investors, especially those looking to obtain a financial license.

Investors who have in mind to open a bank or a company related to financial asset management find in New Zealand an unparalleled opportunity. This is because new Zealand legislation provides a framework whereby a Financial Service Provider (FSP) license can be obtained more quickly than in other jurisdictions.

Under the Registration and Dissolution Act 2008, an investor, after registering its business, can apply for a license to qualify as a Financial Service Provider, which means that its company will be registered by the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development to offer financial services.

Registered as an FSP, your New Zealand business can operate in virtually the same way as a bank or asset management company, all in compliance with the regulations of a country with an excellent reputation but without going through the tedious bureaucracy of other jurisdictions.

This is one of the best ways to take advantage of the economic growth of the financial services sector in New Zealand. Best of all? You can start the process of becoming an FSP in this beautiful jurisdiction right now.

Five reasons to become an FSP in New Zealand?

All the advantages of an international financial center, but without the constant pressure from regulators like the OECD

New Zealand has earned its reputation through hard work and by demonstrating the results of its pro-business policies transparently. So while it is one of the most popular destinations for international investors, it is not perceived negatively by the OECD. 

New Zealand is part of this organization, so if you register your company as an FSP here, you can be sure that you will not feel persecuted by the authorities in the way that often happens in other jurisdictions.

A first-class legal system and political stability with Commonwealth standards 

Running a financial services business requires you to operate from a jurisdiction where the laws are clear, and governments do not bend them in their favor to go against companies. Fortunately, New Zealand provides precisely the environment you need to engage in financial asset management without having to worry about this.

New Zealand, being a member of the British Commonwealth, grants you that political stability and legal certainty are the norms in this jurisdiction. That's why those who are looking to get a financial license think of New Zealand first, rather than anywhere else.

Top-notch infrastructure, ready for any type of financial activity

Over the past few years, the development of New Zealand's telecommunications infrastructure has enabled it to drive the growth of the financial services industry at a sustainable pace.

The availability and coverage of internet and communications services and the security of the infrastructure make this jurisdiction an ideal place from a technical point of view to maintain the operation of a company providing uninterrupted financial services. 

This jurisdiction is not saturated

For the past few years, New Zealand was a low-key jurisdiction. Most international investors were used to allocating their operations to destinations in the Caribbean or Central Europe, mostly ignoring what other promising jurisdictions were bringing to the table.

The result is that today there are mega-investor-saturated international financial centers where the authorities are making it increasingly difficult to obtain a financial license to control the number of companies being set up.

While presenting a clear opportunity for any investor, New Zealand is still a destination that is still being discovered. That means that the financial services sector is not saturated, and you will have less friction in this jurisdiction than you would in any other when starting your operations.

The convenience of registering financial services companies

New Zealand has been at the top of the world rankings for economic freedom for more than a couple of years, so as you can imagine, opening a business in this jurisdiction does not require extraordinary effort.

Likewise, obtaining a license as an FSP in New Zealand is not unattainable if you have the right advice. 

New Zealand is one of our favorite destinations for starting financial services companies because of the convenience of the procedures and the speed with which financial licenses are obtained. It must be said, is much faster than in European and Caribbean jurisdictions.

Authorized financial services for an FSP-licensed company in New Zealand

Once you register your company with the New Zealand Business Registration Authority, you will need to apply for a license to become a financial services provider. This license will allow you to offer the following services: 


- Brokerage services,

- Act as a financial adviser,

- Act as a deposit taker as specified in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act of 1989

- Manage, invest or hold assets, money, securities, or investment portfolios on behalf of other individuals,

- Providing credit,

- Managing means of payment,

- Offering securities to the public,

- Changing foreign currency,

- Entering into derivative transactions, or trading in money market instruments, foreign exchange, interest rate, and index instruments, transferable securities (including shares), and futures contracts on behalf of another person,

- Providing forward foreign exchange contracts,

- Acting as an insurer.


Any business entity registered in New Zealand can apply for an FSP license, so you can practically start trading with any legal structure you choose to register your company with.

As you can see, obtaining a license as an FSP in New Zealand gives you a degree of versatility that allows you to execute investment strategies in many ways at the same time. That's why this jurisdiction is one of our favorites when it comes to offering financial services.

Now let's review what you need to consider when applying for a license as an FSP.

Requirements and authorities you need to know to obtain an FSP license in New Zealand

The authority in charge of reviewing and approving the applications of entrepreneurs who wish to obtain a license to provide financial services in New Zealand is mainly the Financial Markets Authority. However, in some cases, The Registry may also be involved.

Regarding the requirements to apply for an FSP license, no single answer applies to all cases. However, we can name the basic requirements that any investor must submit at the time of applying for the license:

1. You must submit the completed and signed Company Application Form;

2. Submit an organizational chart of the company detailing the board of directors, shareholders, senior executives, etc.;

3. A business plan with 3-year projections giving details of the type of activities and services to be provided, the buyer persona, and other information about the company's business model;

4. Manual of internal processes of the company;

5. Details on procedures and systems designed to prevent conflict of interest, money laundering, terrorism, etc.;

6. Details of the daily operation of the company;

7. Documents of the directors, shareholders, senior executives, owners, etc.

The New Zealand authorities may require additional information in the cases they consider pertinent. Still, as we have said, the friction to open companies in New Zealand is minimal, so if you have the right team of professionals, you will be able to carry out any procedure without headaches.


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