13 Mar 2013

Crackdown on bad behaviour by foreign firms

1:14 pm on 13 March 2013

Minister of Commerce Craig Foss says new rules will ensure the country's reputation will not be abused by errant foreign firms and organisations.

The Financial Markets Authority will get powers to investigate financial service providers such as overseas banks, insurance companies, brokers and financial advisers which want to register here.

The authority will be able to deny foreign firms' registration, or remove them from the register.

Mr Foss says it's part of broader moves to tighten the rules, after firms registered in New Zealand were found to be involved in illegal activities overseas.

He says New Zealand is doing all it can to stop that happening or make it much harder.

"The onus is on us to make sure our registration schemes are robust, have integrity and are recognised around the world," he says.

Mr Foss says changes are also being made to the resident requirements for directors of New Zealand companies.