More information

Joining Financial Dispute Resolution Service

Anyone who gives regulated financial advice to retail clients must either hold, or operate under, a Financial Advice Provider licence. 

If you are a financial service provider in New Zealand, you must be a member of an approved dispute resolution scheme like Financial Dispute Resolution Service.

Financial Dispute Resolution Service is owned and operated by FairWay Resolution Limited, New Zealand’s largest specialist conflict management company. The team includes specialist reviewers and accredited dispute resolution practitioners (adjudicators, facilitators, mediators and conciliators).

As well as access to our experienced and expert team, Financial Dispute Resolution Service membership provides many additional benefits including monthly webinars, a tailored newsletter and, where applicable, we are also able to host training sessions.

Financial Dispute Resolution Service provides value for money

Our membership fees are competitive, and our complaint fees are tailored to the level of dispute resolution intervention required. There is no joining or application fee to become a member of Financial Dispute Resolution Service.

Financial Dispute Resolution Service provides best practice dispute resolution

We are experts in dispute resolution, with many years of experience managing reviews, complaints and issues.  We are committed to international best practice. Our facilitators, mediators and adjudicators are well trained, accredited, and experienced. 

We ensure our services and processes are:

- Independent
- Accessible
- Effective
- Accountable
- Fair.

Financial Dispute Resolution Service is here to help our scheme members and their clients move forward through conflict as collaboratively and efficiently as possible.

Financial Dispute Resolution Service believes in the importance of education and connecting across the finance industry

Sometimes, one of the best ways we can assist with dispute resolution is to recognise issues before they turn into complaints. We do this by:

- Carefully reviewing all the complaints we receive and discussing issues and trends with members
- Providing monthly webinars, our Tuesdays at 10 series, with speakers from MBIE, the FMA, industry organisations, and our own members
- Hosting social events so members can get to know each other and we can better understand the issues faced by providers
- Speaking with community groups and hosting training sessions. We participate in a wide variety of consumer-focused events
- Producing a regular newsletter that includes case studies, scheme activity reports, trends and issues, tips on complaint handling, conflict  management and dispute resolution, updates on relevant legislation, and other interesting topics relevant to finance or disputes.

Financial Dispute Resolution Service has strong, active governance 

Our Advisory Council is an independent body with both industry and consumer representatives who provide guidance on systemic issues, consumer and industry trends. The Advisory Council monitors the scheme to ensure that it fulfils its purpose and meets the benchmarks for an industry consumer scheme.

Being part of Financial Dispute Resolution Service promotes consumer confidence and business improvement

Promoting your Financial Dispute Resolution Service membership increases your clients’ confidence in you and your commitment to good service.  A good complaint handling process can improve your reputation and customer advocacy.

It can also improve your business processes and services, especially when coupled with improved conflict and complaint management skills and processes.

We’re here to help

Call us anytime on freephone 0508 337 337.  We can help with any queries about the process, jurisdiction or management of a complaint. 

What kinds of members does Financial Dispute Resolution Service have and how do I join?

There are different membership types. The categories and corresponding annual fees can be found here.

Joining is easy. Choose your membership type, complete the Application Form (and Schedule if required), and return it to us by email at

Once you’ve paid your annual membership fee, Financial Dispute Resolution Service will send through confirmation of your membership, along with a variety of helpful guides and materials.

Note: You must be registered on the Financial Service Provider Register first so that you can provide us with your FSP number.  

What are a Scheme Member’s responsibilities?

- Adhering to the Financial Dispute Resolution Service Scheme Rules, including being bound by any decision made by FDRS
- Paying all fees due to FDRS, by their due date
- Providing all the required information regarding a dispute
- Participating in the dispute resolution process
- Adhering to any relevant industry codes and legislation
- Having an internal complaints procedure in place, which is promoted and accessible to customers
- Advising current and prospective customers about your complaint handling procedure
- Promoting your membership of Financial Dispute Resolution Service.

Is the membership fee an annual charge?

Yes. The membership fee is an annual charge to provide for the cost of maintaining the service. Fees are payable in advance with options for periodic payments.

Can a scheme member leave FDRS?

Yes. Financial Dispute Resolution Service requires three months’ written notice of a scheme member's intention to leave the scheme.

When is a complaint considered unresolved?

The simplest definition is that a scheme member has received a complaint, has made all reasonable attempts to resolve the situation, but the consumer is not satisfied with the outcome. Financial Dispute Resolution Service will consider a complaint to be unresolved if the customer has not had any contact from their financial service provider in response to their complaint, or if a complaint is not resolved within two months of it first being made.

Can a scheme member claim legal fees or reimbursement of other losses if the complaint is unsuccessful?

No. Under the Financial Dispute Resolution Service Scheme Rules and legislation, scheme members cannot claim back legal fees or any other losses incurred as a result of their customers making a complaint through Financial Dispute Resolution Service, nor can they pass any of these costs on to the customer. One of the core features of Financial Dispute Resolution Service is that the service is provided free of charge to consumers.

Does joining FDRS automatically register me with the Companies Office?

No. There are two separate processes to register as a financial service provider (FSP).

1. Become a member of a dispute resolution scheme (eg Financial Dispute Resolution Service).

2. Register at the Financial Service Providers Register (FSPR). Follow the online process and when you are asked which dispute resolution scheme you belong to, choose Financial Dispute Resolution Service (FDRS). You pay a separate fee to Companies Office - a one-off joining fee and then a lesser annual fee.