1. About us
  2. What we do
  3. How we regulate

How we regulate

The FMA’s functions to support regulation

A number of principles underpin our approach to our work.

  • Intelligence-led and harm-based: We gather and analyse information to identify the greatest risks of harm to customers and New Zealand’s financial markets.
  • Outcome-focused: We focus our resources where we have the greatest opportunity of achieving desired outcomes. We carefully consider the most appropriate tools and action for each situation. This means recognising the limits of our powers, considering regulatory burden and any unintended consequences of our actions.
  • Consistent and transparent: We clearly communicate our intentions and expectations to market participants, and explain our actions.
  • Flexible and responsive: We adopt an operating model and ways of working that enable us to adapt and respond quickly to changing market conditions. We seek and act on feedback, and learn from our experiences.

Specifically, our functions for regulation include:

These functions for regulation support our strategic priorities.

Monitoring and supervision

To help build investor confidence, we assess and monitor compliance, conduct and competency of market participants. See more for further information on our regulatory framework, intelligence and risk-based approach to compliance, monitoring outcomes and our regulatory co-operation.

Investigations and enforcement

Through our investigation and enforcement activities we aim to raise standards of behaviour, deter misconduct, and hold to account those whose conduct harms the fair, efficient and transparent operation of our financial markets. Our intention is to raise investor confidence by taking timely and proportionate enforcement action and by seeking compensation for investors where appropriate. See more on our approach to enforcement.

Policy and guidance

We provide information and guidance that assists firms and professionals to comply with the law. For more information please see our guidance library.

Education and information

We partner with public and private organisations to develop and promote education resources and messages to help investors make better investment decisions. This includes providing information on investment basics, different ways to invest, investment risk, KiwiSaver and a range of other free resources

We also issue warnings, alerts and scam information to educate the public on areas to be wary of.


We license a range of firms and professionals that meet the requirements in law. For more information on the licenses we issue, see our licensing and registration section.