Varying an existing licence

Licensed securities trustees and statutory supervisors can apply for a variation to an existing license, for example to add or remove a licence class.

How to apply

Applying for a variation of licence is similar to the procedure followed when making the original application for a licence.

Please review the original licensing application and any supplemental material provided, or disclosures made, to FMA since the submission of the original licensing application.

All applicants applying for a variation of a current licence must complete a variation application form.

Where there are changes, please submit amended or updated material for those sections, referring to the licensing guidance note. Where there has been no change to the information already submitted to the FMA as part of the initial licensing application, please note the relevant sections on the application form.

Please also forward payment of the prescribed fee for the variation application.

Assessment of the application

To grant the variation, FMA must be satisfied that, having regard to any conditions imposed, the applicant is, or will be, capable of effectively performing their functions of trustee or statutory supervisor after the licence variation. FMA assesses the variation application based on the same factors as for the initial license application (as explained in the licensing guidance note). The matters FMA must assess are set out in section 16 of the Act and the associated Regulations.

FMA will undertake a full review of all material submitted and will take into account information from its monitoring of the licensee. FMA may request additional information, updating of previously submitted material or verification of the information. When assessing an application, FMA will also consider the appropriateness of the current term of the licence and the current licence conditions. This may result in a reduction of the term, the variation of current conditions or imposition of additional conditions.

Variations to include a new class of licence

A licensed trustee or statutory supervisor should not assume that because it holds a licence in one or more class of licence, it will be granted an extension to other classes. Any variation request for an extension into a new licence class must be fully assessed against the statutory tests (under section 16(1)).

In practice, FMA's assessment will concentrate on satisfying itself that the applicant can effectively perform the role of trustee or statutory supervisor in the new class, and that the addition of the new class will not adversely impact its existing activities. The variation request should therefore include:

  • written procedures tailored to the new class
  • material demonstrating a full understanding of the different reporting requirements of the new class and how the applicant will adapt its existing monitoring procedures to encompass these
  • how staff and management have up-skilled to ensure they have the appropriate skill base to effectively perform trustee or statutory supervisory functions in this class
  • peer review and supervisory processes for any new class
  • levels of staffing resources
  • confirmation that work on existing supervised entities will not be adversely impacted.

FMA expects the licensee to have clearly identified the risks associated with any new class of licence and how it will adapt its existing monitoring processes to address these risks.

FMA expects more than a simple transfer of existing processes to another class.

Need help?

Prior to making an application to vary an existing licence, speak to your normal FMA contact to discuss your specific circumstances.