Lenders and mobile traders must be certified to operate from 1 October
Published10 Mar 2021
From 1 October 2021 lenders providing consumer credit and mobile traders selling on credit must be certified by the Commerce Commission or face penalties, unless they are licensed or registered by the Financial Markets Authority or Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
In order to give certification, the Commission will need to be satisfied that directors and senior managers of lenders providing consumer credit and mobile traders are ‘fit and proper’ to perform their role – that they are financially sound, honest, reputable, reliable and competent to do their job.
“We are aware that some organisations provide consumer credit that might not see themselves as typical lenders. This is a good time for all organisations who might be providing consumer credit or relevant mobile trading services, to check their obligations, including whether they need to be registered and certified. The consequences could be significant if they get it wrong. If you sell goods or services on deferred payment terms to individuals you should get advice about whether you need to comply,” says Commission Chair Anna Rawlings.
“Businesses must take a proactive approach to certification and ask themselves: could this apply to me?”
Lenders providing consumer credit and mobile traders selling on credit that are already registered as a Financial Service Provider (FSP) on 1 October 2021 do not need to be certified until they complete their next annual FSP confirmation.
If lenders are not already registered as a FSP on 1 October 2021, they will need to be both certified by the Commission and registered as a FSP before they can provide consumer credit or mobile trading services.
All lenders should consider applying for certification at least two months before they have to be certified, in order to be able to continue trading until the Commission completes the certification process. If they apply for certification less than two months before they have to be certified, they must stop trading until certification has been granted.
Lending without being certified could result in penalties of up to $600,000 for a company or $200,000 for an individual.