Authorisation to use restricted words

Under section 65 of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Act 1989, the Reserve Bank may authorise the use of a name or title that includes restricted words ("bank", "banker", "banking" or their derivatives) by the following persons:

(a) a person licensed or registered as a bank in a country other than New Zealand;

(b) a class of persons licensed or registered as banks in a country other than New Zealand;

(c) a person that is formed, incorporated, or registered to represent the interests of-

  1. any registered bank; or
  2. any person connected with a registered bank;

(d) an associated person of a registered bank;

(e) a registered bank or an associated person of a registered bank that intends to use a name or title that includes a restricted word in respect of a unit trust of which the registered bank or the associated person is a trustee or manager within the meaning of the Unit Trusts Act 1960; and

(f) a person that is not a financial institution.

Section 65 also specifies particular conditions of authorisation that the Reserve Bank must impose on authorisations given under the various sub-sections above, and provides the Reserve Bank with the power to impose any additional conditions of authorisation that it thinks fit. The Reserve Bank's policy in respect of the application of section 65 is set out below.

Banks or classes of banks licensed overseas

Authorisations will be granted only to internationally reputable banks, subject to satisfactory supervision by their home authorities.

Authorisations will only be granted to carry on specific activities that do not consist of the borrowing and lending of money or the provision of other financial services in New Zealand.

Representative bodies

Authorisations granted to representative bodies will be subject to the following conditions:

(a) that the body continues to represent the interests of registered banks or persons connected with registered banks; and

(b) that the name of the authorised person makes it clear that the person has a representative function.

Associated person of a registered bank

Authorisations will only be granted to persons that:

(a) are not financial institutions; and

(b) include in their names a reference to the registered bank; and

(c) use names that clearly identify the purpose for which the authorised person operates as being non-financial.

Authorisations will be conditional on the authorised person remaining an associated person of a registered bank.

Unit trust associated with a registered bank

Authorisations granted under this condition will be subject to a condition that (when appropriate, i.e., when the registered bank is a manager but not a trustee of a unit trust) the unit trust investment statements and application forms contain a statement that investments in the unit trust do not constitute securities issued by, or guaranteed by, the registered bank concerned.

Non-financial institutions

Authorisation will only be granted when the name used clearly identifies the purpose for which the authorised person operates as being non-financial.

Authorisations will be conditional on the authorised person not being, and not becoming, a financial institution.

Applications for an authorisation should outline:

  • The (proposed) name of the entity and the reasons for using a restricted word;
  • The proposed activities the entity will carry on in New Zealand; and
  • Whether or not the entity will provide financial services in New Zealand.

Applicants should allow for a turn-around period of 5-10 working days for straightforward applications. Complex matters may require further consideration.
Applications can be sent to admin.authorisations@rbnz.govt.nz.