We have regulatory powers to grant financial reporting exemptions and vary public accountability designations.
Our aim is to find a balance between ensuring businesses provide appropriate financial information for those who need it and minimising costs for those providing it.
The FMA grants 2 types of exemptions:
Below is an overview of our key policies.
We may grant you an exemption from the requirement to prepare financial statements under NZ generally accepted accounting practice and the requirement to use a NZ qualified auditor if:
We may also provide relief to those that have NZ operations and who are required to prepare NZ business financial statements. These are sometimes referred to as branch financial statements. These financial statements are used by Inland Revenue and the Reserve Bank for their monitoring purposes therefore, we are unlikely to provide exemptions from these requirements. However, in some cases we may allow you to prepare financial statements under overseas GAAP or use an overseas auditor.
The Financial Markets Conduct (Overseas FMC reporting entities) Exemption Notice 2016 is an example of this policy in practice.
The table below details the overseas GAAP we consider provide high quality information to investors and the jurisdictions with appropriate financial reporting and audit regulation.
|Specified GAAP||Specified jurisdictions|
Sometimes regulated offers are made through special purpose vehicles or finance subsidiaries known as ‘conduit issuers'. These issuers loan most of the funds to related-parties.
In these situations, the related-parties are considered ‘recipients of funds from a conduit issuer’ and become FMC reporting entities in their own right. The cost of complying with the reporting requirements for all the related-parties can be extensive and unnecessary, when more relevant information for investors can be provided or is already available.
For example, a finance subsidiary raises debt and on-lends the funds to its parent and other subsidiaries. All the companies provide unconditional unlimited cross-guarantees and the group financial statements are audited and publicly available.
In this case, the group financial statements are likely to be a good representation of the group’s ability to meet the interest and principal payments. Therefore we may exempt the other subsidiaries from having to each prepare, have audited and lodge financial statements. Applications for exemptions in this situation are usually considered on a case-by-case basis.
Generally, if you are required to prepare financial statements under the FMC Act, you will have to lodge them in NZ. However, we may grant overseas businesses an exemption from lodgement if they have made offers where NZers are not the primary audience. The Financial Markets Conduct (Incidental offers) Exemption Notice 2016 is an example of this policy in practice.
We may extend the deadline for lodging financial statements. However, thresholds are high and exemptions are rare. You need to have a compelling reason why you can’t comply with the 4 month period, or specific circumstances that make it inappropriate. Overseas businesses may have longer timeframes to prepare financial statements under overseas law, however, we don’t consider this sufficient on its own to grant exemptions.
Partial and technical exemptions
We may consider exemptions from the requirements if there are:
Applications usually arise from specific circumstances.
Below is an overview of selected class exemptions already in place. Before relying on any exemption, you should carefully read the notice and ensure you can meet all the conditions.
If you wish to apply for an individual exemption you will need to include a draft exemption notice with your application. We recommend reviewing other financial reporting exemptions as a starting point. These exemptions reflect our approach and can be adapted to your individual circumstances.
|We can grant exemptions for accounting periods already completed. This is provided that it is in force before the financial statements were due to be lodged. If you’ve missed the lodgement date it’s too late to apply for an exemption.|
Effective from: 4/11/2016 – 3/11/2021
This exemption allows businesses listed in certain jurisdictions to use their overseas GAAP financial statements that have been audited by an overseas auditor to meet their main financial reporting requirements in NZ.
It also allows you to prepare your NZ business financial statements using overseas GAAP and you can have them audited by one of the following:
In light of Financial Markets Conduct (Overseas FMC Reporting Entities) Exemption Notice 2016, this exemption will be reviewed and likely revoked in the first quarter of 2017.
It applies to overseas FMC reporting entities with a primary listing in specified jurisdictions and a secondary listing in NZ. It allows you to use your overseas financial statements to comply with the main financial reporting requirements of the FMC Act. It also allows you to prepare your NZ business financial statements (if any) using a specified overseas GAAP and your overseas auditor. The specified jurisdictions are Australia, Ontario (Canada), Singapore, the UK, and the USA. FMC reporting entities relying on this exemption will still need to lodge their financial statements in NZ.
Effective from 28/10/2016 - 28/05/2020
It allows overseas banks registered in NZ, and overseas insurers licensed in NZ, to use their overseas financial statements to meet the main requirements of the FMC Act. The notice does not remove any requirement to prepare, and have audited, separate branch financial statements for their NZ business, and these must be in NZ GAAP. The auditor for these branch financial statements may be a NZ auditor or certain overseas auditors.
Effective from: 18/11/2016 – 17/11/2021
Where an overseas listed issuer makes an offer to existing holders of securities ,eg, a rights offer, NZ investors may incidentally receive that offer. Without an exemption, the standard requirements of the FMC Act would apply. This exemption relieves issuers listed in certain jurisdictions from the disclosure, governance, and financial reporting of the FMC Act for that offer.
Managers must register scheme financial statements within 4 months of their balance date. Where a manager's balance date is not the same as its various schemes’ balance dates, this makes compliance difficult or impossible. This exemption allows managers to register scheme financial statements within 4 months after the balance date of the scheme
Public accountability at a glance
Higher public accountability
Full NZ IFRS for for-profit entities, or full PBE standards for public benefit entities
Lower public accountability
NZ IFRS RDR for for-profit entities, or PBE standards RDR for most public benefit entities
*The FMA has issued a notice to re-designate recipients of funds from conduit issuers and licensed derivative issuers to having higher public accountability.