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Market engagement in a changing regulatory landscape

John Botica, COO, FMA


John Botica joined the FMA in August 2013. He assumed the chief operating officer’s role, in July this year, which includes leading our market engagement activities. Here he highlights why engagement is important, and how people can get involved.

The regulatory landscape has evolved significantly since the FMA was set up four years ago. The new Financial Markets Conduct Act, the biggest piece of legislative change in 30 years, has been put in place over the past two years. During this time we have maintained a strong commitment to open dialogue between the FMA and the firms and people we regulate.

Increasing market resilience
Open dialogue brings enormous benefits. It builds a strong nexus between us and the businesses we regulate. It also helps increase the resilience of our markets, critical to restoring investors’ confidence and trust.

However, nothing comes without challenges. Striking that balance between good compliance and good business has its share of complexities. Central to our engagement approach has been transparency, and keeping an open mind. 

Alternative perspectives
Activities such as workshops, consultation, focus groups and informal discussions have helped us broaden our insights as we consider alternative perspectives. We use what’s gleaned from our engagement activities to help refine our guidance and frameworks. The result is an outcome that works to everyone’s interests as well as improve our regulatory objectives.

A good example is the new licensing regime that got underway last year and how we steer businesses in their transition to a new regulatory regime. We ran a series of workshops with businesses and industry networks, including professional and business associations, to develop practical solutions for any issues they have. We used feedback from those workshops to improve the process and amended our guidance to reflect the industry’s feedback.

Next legislative cycle
Looking ahead to the next legislative cycle, we have a great deal of consultation in the pipeline covering a wide range of topics. I strongly encourage people to take part and let us have your feedback.  Check our website for further details, and if you haven’t already done so, subscribe to our ‘consultation alerts’.

FMA publishes Investigations and Enforcement Report

Read the key issues and themes during the year ending 30 June 2015.



24 September
Last day to submit feedback for consultation on proposed amendments to the Auditor Regulation Act (Prescribed Minimum Standards and Conditions for Licensed Auditors and Registered Audit Firms) Notice 2012.

25 September
Last day to submit feedback for consultation on scrip offers in takeovers.

30 September
AFA information return - AFAs have two weeks left to submit their information return. Please complete them through our online system, by 5pm, Wednesday 30 September. Check our website for more information.

If you’re an AFA we encourage you to make a note of your authorisation expiry date now. The renewal application process is simple - much of the information we’ll require will be in the form of confirmation of your continued good character, competence as an AFA and compliance with the Code, the Standard conditions and the legislation.

You can apply to renew from up to six weeks before (but no later than) your expiry date. You will be able to continue to provide advice to your clients while we process your application for renewal, even if your expiry date passes during this time.

We’ve published the AFA Authorisation Renewal Guide on the AFA licensing forms and resources page of our website.

New to our website!

We have created a new DIMS section on our website. We have refreshed information about different DIMS licensees, making it easier to understand your obligations.


Also new is a Market Operators section. Here you can find out how to become a market operator and what your obligations are.


New guidance

Research reports for IPOs under the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013
We have developed an information sheet for brokers, issuers and research providers to encourage wider publication of research on IPOs for retail clients.

AFA Authorisation Renewal Guide
We have published the AFA Authorisation Renewal Guide on the AFA licensing forms and resources page of our website.


We recently updated our Authorisation Guide for AFAs, and revised the AFA licensing information on our website.




Auditors procedures for FMC Act licence holders

In our August update, we noted that every year, most market service licensees under the Financial Markets Conduct Act are required to provide us with an auditor’s report relating to their financial resources.

This is not correct. While most licence holders are required to have an auditor check their financial resources annually, only derivative issuers are required to send their reports to us.

Other licence holders only need to send their reports to us when the reports indicate a breach of their licence conditions or when we ask for them.

For further information please contact Jeromy Meerman,

Planning on getting a MIS licence?

We encourage applicants for MIS manager licences to apply as early as possible so we can provide feedback and help resolve issues identified during the application process. If applicants leave it to the end of the transitional period, there might not be sufficient time to make changes to achieve the minimum standards.

Applicants should review the licensing guides on our website and contact us by emailing if they need further guidance. Applicants can help us avoid delays and prepare resources by letting us know when they intend to apply. You can either email us or contact 0800 434 567.


Current consultations

Proposed amendments to the Auditor Regulation Act (Prescribed Minimum Standards and Conditions for Licensed Auditors and Registered Audit Firms) Notice 2012

Submissions close Thursday 24 September 2015.

Scrip offers in takeovers
We are seeking feedback comment on whether there is a need for exemption relief for issuers offering securities as part of a ‘scrip bid’ in a takeover offer.

Submissions close Friday 25 September 2015.

Proposed FMC Act exemption for offers made through AFAs providing personalised DIMS

Submissions close on Thursday 8 October 2015.

Employee share purchase schemes
We are seeking feedback on proposed exemption relief for employee share purchase schemes.

Submissions close Thursday 15 October 2015.


What's coming up

Look out for the following we’ll be releasing over the coming month:

KiwiSaver statutory report – September

FMA’s annual report – October

Report on sales and advice – October

Guidance note on KiwiSaver disclosure fees and performance - October

QFE Renewals
Authorisation of the majority of existing Qualifying Financial Entities (QFEs) and QFE Groups will soon be due for renewal - existing QFEs and QFE Groups can renew their QFE status for five years. If you are a QFE we encourage you to make a note of your QFE status expiry date now, and read our renewal guide when it’s published later this month. QFEs can apply for renewal up to twelve weeks before their expiry date. We encourage you to submit your renewal application well before your expiry date.

If you have any questions about QFE renewals in advance of the guide, you can contact us by email at

FMA news

8 September - FMA chief executive looks forward, to long-term benefits of new regulation

4 September - Presentation by Rob Everett to the Banking and Financial Services Law Association, 32nd annual conference

1 September - KiwiSaver and beyond – turning a lump sum into a smooth income

28 August - FMA releases enforcement and investigations report 2015

27 August - FMA encourages people to get their KiwiSaver fighting fit during Money Week

21 August - Guilty pleas entered in OPI Pacific Finance case.



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