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Helping you identify businesses we regulate

We prudentially regulate banks, licensed insurers, licensed non-bank deposit takers and designated financial market infrastructures. While prudential regulation does not guarantee that a business will not fail, we recommend only dealing with regulated entities. This page will help you identify who is regulated by us, and lists warnings we have issued about businesses claiming to be regulated entities.

Registered banks

  • It is an offence under the Banking (Prudential Supervision) Act 1989 to hold out that a person is a registered bank by using a name, title, trade mark, style, designation or description representing or implying a person is a registered bank.
  • There are restrictions on the use of the words ‘bank’, ‘banker’ and ‘banking’. These restrictions prohibit the use of these words in names and titles. They also apply to the use of these words as part of any other word, and translations of these words into another language.
  • Care must also be taken when using these words in advertising to avoid giving the impression you are a registered bank.
  • You can ask for authorisation to use these words in your name or title.

More information on these restrictions, and the process to seek authorisation to use these words, is available on the Restrictions on use of the word 'bank' page.

Restrictions on use of the word 'bank'

Licensed insurers

  • It is an offence under the Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 to carry out insurance business in New Zealand without a licence.
  • It is also an offence for someone who is not a licensed insurer to use any name, title, trade mark, style, designation or description that represents or implies that they are a licensed insurer.
  • To help the public identify who is a licensed insurer, there are restrictions around the use of the words ‘insurance’, ‘assurance’, ‘underwriter’ and ‘reinsurance’, and any term with a similar meaning, in a name or title of someone who is not carrying on insurance business in New Zealand.
  • If you won’t be carrying out insurance business in New Zealand, and would like to use these words in your name, you can ask us for an exemption.

More information on these restrictions, and a list of businesses that have exemptions, is available on the Restrictions on use of the word 'insurance' page.

Restrictions on use of the word 'insurance'

Licensed non-bank deposit takers

  • It is an offence under the Non-bank Deposit Takers Act 2013 to misrepresent that a business is a non-bank deposit taker (NBDT) or a licensed NBDT.
  • NBDTs need to take care when using the words ‘bank’, ‘banker’ and ‘banking’ in advertising, to avoid giving the impression they are a registered bank.

More information on using restricted words in advertising is available on the Restrictions on use of the word 'bank' page.

Restrictions on use of the word 'bank'

Designated financial market infrastructures

It is an offence under the Financial Market Infrastructures Act 2021 to misrepresent that a system is a designated financial market infrastructure (FMI) or that a person is an operator of a designated FMI.

Potentially misleading names and activities

We have previously issued notices alerting the public to names or activities we are concerned could incorrectly imply regulation by us.

These notices are not exhaustive and there is no guarantee that the business or individual has not changed their name.