Levies and waivers


FMA receives funding from the Crown and a proportion of these costs are then recouped from industry by way of levies.

The Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Regulations 2012 (the Regulations) came into force on 1 August 2012 and set out the levies payable by the various financial markets participants. These levies are set by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment and are due to be reviewed later this year.

The Regulations were amended in 2014 to align the terminology of the Regulations with the provisions of the Financial Markets Conduct Act and related legislation that came into force on 1 December 2014.


A financial markets participant falls within one or more 'classes' as set out in the Regulations, depending on what financial services they provide under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (the FSP Act).

A levy must be paid for each and every class which that they fall within. Levies become payable on the relevant leviable event as described in column 3 of the Schedule in the Regulations.




Financial service provider registration


Registered banks and non-bank deposit takers


Licensed insurers


Licensed supervisors of debt securities and managed investment products in registered schemes


Managers or superannuation trustees


Persons authorised to undertake trading activities on licensed markets, contributory mortgage brokers, licensed derivatives issuers, authorised dealers, brokers, authorised financial advisers, or providing any of the following financial services: acting as a custodian in respect of a registered scheme or a discretionary investment management service provided by a DIMS licensee; or trading financial products or foreign exchange on behalf of other persons.


All other financial service providers that are not included in any of classes 2 - 6


Listed issuers


Lodgement of a product disclosure statement (PDS) or registration of prospectus


Licensed market operators


[Class 11 revoked on 1 December 2014]


Accredited bodies


Overseas auditors


Registration or incorporation under the Building Societies Act 1965; the Companies Act 1993; the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982; or the Limited Partnerships Act 2008


Annual returns under the Building Societies Act 1965; the Companies Act 1993; the Friendly Societies and Credit Unions Act 1982; or the Limited Partnerships Act 2008

Levies are imposed on an activity basis and financial markets participants are required to pay levies in relation to each and every class in which they do business. Some levies have been tiered within the classes in order to recognise the variation in size and nature of different financial markets participants.

Please note, levies that are payable on making an annual confirmation are retrospective to cover the regulatory costs of the previous year.

Most levies will be payable to the Registrar of Financial Service Providers (the Registrar), via the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR). Some levies however will be payable directly to FMA (by classes of persons who are not currently on the FSPR).

The following classes of person will be invoiced directly by FMA or will be required to pay the FMA upon a certain event (for example, when a report is required to be given to the FMA): Class 8, Class 10, Class 13, and if the market participant is not registered on the FSPR, also Classes 4 and 5. 


A financial markets participant is responsible for ensuring they are registered for the service(s) they provide and have paid the appropriate levy/levies. As part of their online annual confirmation, the financial markets participant must select all of the applicable classes to determine the levies payable and confirm that the information they have provided is true, correct and complete.

Under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 (the FSP Act) it is an offence for a financial markets participant to:

  1. Provide services that they are not registered for or state they are registered for a particular financial service when they are not;
  2. Supply to the Registrar information knowing that it is false or misleading or omit to supply information knowing such omission is false or misleading.

These offences could result in a fine of up to $100,000 and/or imprisonment in the case of an individual, and $300,000 where the person is not an individual.

It is also an offence under the FSP Act to fail to notify the Registrar if any of the details contained on the FSPR are no longer correct which could result in a fine of up to $10,000.


Full details on the levies, including the classes of persons who must pay a levy and the amounts payable can be found by searching for the ‘Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Regulations 2012’  at: www.legislation.govt.nz

FMA has a discretionary power to waive a levy (in whole or part) but only where the circumstances or characteristics of the financial markets participant are exceptional when compared with others in the same class. The threshold has been set deliberately high. The waiver power is not intended to be used for the purposes of revisiting settled policy positions.

On receipt of a waiver application and the appropriate fee, we will assess the application and make a decision whether to grant the waiver. If FMA waives a levy, we must notify our decision in the Gazette and publish the decision and the reasons for it on our website.

How to apply for a levy to be waived

Write to us and provide us with the following information:

  1. Name of person or entity applying for the waiver.
  2. Contact person for correspondence concerning the application including contact address, phone number, and email.
  3. Please indicate the persons/entity who will receive the benefit of any waiver granted.
  4. Please specify which class(es) you seek a waiver from and whether a waiver is sought from the full levy or part and the amount thereof.
  5. Please let us know your preferred date for any waiver if granted to take effect.
  6. Explain why the waiver should be granted and why your circumstances are exceptional when compared with others in the same class.
  7. Provide all relevant facts in support of your application.
  8. Explain any regulatory benefit of FMA granting the waiver.
  9. Give details of any previous contact with officials (including their names) at FMA or MBIE (including the Companies Office) on the matter.

Email your application to: compliance@fma.govt.nz. A cheque will also need to be made payable to the Financial Markets Authority for the appropriate amount and sent to one of our offices.

What are the charges?

A cheque for $1,265.00 should accompany each application. This covers the application fee of $115 set out in the Financial Markets Authority (Fees) Regulations 2011 and an advance of $1,000 plus GST for fees and costs to be incurred.

These regulations set out charging rates of $200 plus GST per hour, for time spent by FMA Board members and $155 plus GST per hour, for time spent by FMA staff. All of the above fees are set by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment.

How long does it take?

Once we have been provided with all relevant information, it generally takes around six weeks to process applications. This may be longer if questions of policy arise.

If your application is urgent, you must provide the timeframes within which the decision is needed. You must also provide reasons for requesting urgent consideration.

Granted waivers

Southern Cross Benefits Limited – partial waiver – May 2015