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Misleading banking certificates have no legal authority

The Reserve Bank advises caution over certificates issued by private agents that claim a company is authorised to offer banking services in New Zealand. These certificates have no legal standing or official authority, and people should be cautious about placing any reliance on them.

Some private sector company formation/management agents issue documents they refer to as “Certification of authorised activities”. These documents purport to certify that specific New Zealand registered companies are authorised to offer banking services in line with New Zealand law.

These “certifications” typically list activities the company is purportedly authorised to offer, such as deposit taking and lending, debit and credit card services, issuing financial guarantees and instruments, cash management services, investment management, payment services, and issuing cheques. They often include the issuing company’s seal, may mention“certification of good standing” and refer to the Ministry of Economic Development.

The issuers of these “certifications” are private entities acting as agents for the companies involved, and have no authority to issue official documents relating to the status of a New Zealand company. Claims made in these “certifications” that a company has been authorised to offer banking services in line with New Zealand law are misleading.

A complete list of banks that have been officially registered is shown on our Register of registered banks in New Zealand page.