A new era of financial market behaviour and regulation is ushered in today as the Financial Markets Conduct Act comes fully into force.
It brings in standards of disclosure of information and conflict, imposes duties of responsibility to consumers and if necessary sanctions.
It covers any firm selling financial services - whether it be term deposits, or peer to peer lending, KiwiSaver, investment syndicates and the people giving investment advice.
The chief market watchdog is the Financial Markets Authority.
Its chief executive Rob Everett said this was not the end, but really the beginning.
"Licensing gets you only so far, it's the nature of the interaction between the people operating in our financial services space and the regulator and the people who buy those products," he said.
Mr Everett said the authority would work hard to help educate investors about their rights and what they should expect from financial service companies.
He warned companies that if needs be the FMA would wield a big stick.
"We will make sure that providers who don't want to engage in a sensible conversation about how they best serve their customers know that we have a real deterrent and a real punishment force behind us," he said.