The legislation establishing the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) as the new single conduct regulator for New Zealand's financial markets was passed by a unanimous vote in Parliament on 7 April 2011.

On 1 May, the FMA took over the functions of the Securities Commission and the Government Actuary, the Commissioner for Financial Advisers, and certain functions of the Ministry of Economic Development and the Registrar of Companies. The Securities Commission and the Government Actuary are being disestablished, although the Government Actuary is to continue until the 20 th of September 2011 for the limited purpose of performing its existing role in relation to the Government Superannuation Fund.

The FMA is seen by the Government as a key element in the process for rebuilding trust and confidence in the financial markets and has been brought in ahead of the Government's wider overhaul of New Zealand's securities laws (which is not expected to be completed until 2013).

Commerce Minister Simon Power says "I'm confident it will have the tools it needs to help restore mum and dad investor confidence in our financial markets, after issues were raised following the global financial crisis, and the failure of a number of finance companies".

For more information, click here and here.

To go to the FMA website, click here.