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Progress towards financial markets overhaul

Craig Foss
10 September, 2012

Commerce Minister Craig Foss has welcomed the report back from the Commerce Select Committee on the Financial Markets Conduct Bill.

"This Bill is critical to restoring investor confidence in New Zealand's financial markets. It makes improvements to the ability of businesses to raise capital, whilst ensuring the unscrupulous are held to account," says Mr Foss.

"Dealing with a Bill of this size and complexity is not easy. It's pleasing that the select committee unanimously supported the Bill, continuing a tradition of cross-party support for financial sector reform.

"I would also like to thank the many public submitters for their contribution and I appreciate the constructive way that they have approached this significant legislative reform throughout the process."

Mr Foss says the select committee recommended a number of changes that improve the clarity of the Bill, particularly around liability.

"It's crucial that the Bill strikes the right balance between holding people to account, while encouraging businesses to come to market.

"The Bill places more focus on civil liability and compensation, and reserves criminal sanctions to issuers and directors who are guilty of serious wrongdoing.

"I agree with the changes made by the select committee that essentially set criminal liability at the same level as the Crimes Act, and provide more comprehensive defences to civil liability."

Commerce Minister Craig Foss says the Financial Markets Conduct Bill provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make New Zealand's financial markets more efficient.

The Select Committee's report can be viewed at
http://ourhouse.parliament.nz/enNZ/PB/SC/Documents/Reports/6/a/6/50DBSCH_SCR5616_1-Financial-Markets-Conduct-Bill-342-2.html